Fall Sports Can Bring Agony of De-Feet
At Paul S. DeMarco, DPM we notice an increase of several foot conditions in children and young adults once the fall sports season starts up. While some injuries and foot conditions will occur no matter how proactive you are, others can be avoided if you take a few simple precautions. Below are some of the more common foot conditions we see at this time of year and how to avoid them.
Athlete’s foot—student athletes who use a locker room to change for practice and games are at high risk for this fungal infection which loves warm, moist places. The fungus is spread by direct contact. Wearing shower shoes or flip flops in the shower and while walking around the locker room can prevent this annoying skin infection which can also spread to your toenails and other parts of your body.
Ankle sprains—after a summer spent primarily in flip flops, which offer no ankle support whatsoever, ligaments may be a bit stretched and more susceptible to giving way and twisting. Be sure your child has shoes designed for their sport that have good ankle support. Also, check the field where he or she will be playing to make sure it is in good condition. Divots, holes and uneven spots all increase the risk of ankle injury to athletes.
Sever’s disease—in children between the ages of 8 and 15, the growth plate at the back of the heel is still forming, leaving a vulnerable area that can become inflamed with too much repetitive pressure. Having sports shoes with good heel cushioning and varying workouts and warm ups can all help protect the heel. Having rest days where your child does not play or practice is also important.
Achilles tendonitis—when athletes (young or old) start up a sport after a period of inactivity (like a summer spent in front of a gaming or computer screen) they are at risk for inflaming the Achilles tendon. Running hills and increasing the difficulty and length of training sessions too quickly can also cause Achilles tendonitis.
It’s important to get any foot or ankle pain evaluated promptly. If your child complains of any type of pain or discomfort, make an appointment at our Somers Point office by calling: (609) 927-4894. Our podiatrist, Dr. Paul S. DeMarco will determine the best treatment plan for your child.