One of the most treasured Thanksgiving traditions has become the Turkey Trot. An annual tradition of a run on the the morning the holiday. Families, friends and strangers from all walks of life gather to test their limits. Unfortunately, many of the participants are out of shape or inexperienced with a run like this.
Soccer season is in full swing! We recently discussed young children and heel pain while playing soccer. Today we will discuss some of the more common soccer injuries. It is very important to observe and listen to your children about their complaints of foot and ankle pain. Soccer is a very physically demanding sport and the running associated with it places excessive stress on a young foot. Many times, parents and coaches are not aware of just how serious an injury may be. Parents should be vigilant about not letting their children play through foot and ankle pain. I always tell my patients that it is always better to sit out a few games to rest an injury and recover rather than miss out on an entire season!
Here are some common injuries to be on the look-out for:
- Stress fractures
- Can present as lingering heel pain or foot pain and upon testing can be a stress fracture. These can be very subtle and difficult to pick up. They are often not visible immediately and will show up on later x-rays.
- Overuse injuries such as plantar fasciitis or achilles tendonitis
- Pain caused by inflammation and overuse.
- Ankle sprains
- Extremely common! Needs to be evaluated immediately to assess the extent of injury or damage.
- See in skeletally immature individuals in which the growth plates become inflamed. In young children, the growth plates have not closed yet and the bones are still growing and maturing (until ages 13-16). When there is constant and repetitive motions this can aggravate the growth plates and cause pain and inflammation.
In short, don’t just tell your child to “walk it off” or “no pain, no gain”. They may need to be evaluated and treated for a more serious injury.
Repeated stress, like the continuous pounding of running, can cause a tiny break in the bone, also known as a stress fracture. The metatarsal bones, which make up The front part of the arch, are a common area for stress fractures with the second and third metatarsal‘s being affected the most often.
The pain is typically felt at a specific and localized spot usually on the top portion of the bone. Sadly, your stress fracture might not be obvious at first, which puts you at risk for making it worse. The pain may be mild at first, but it can intensify with time if you don’t take care of it.
Stress fractures take about 6 to 8 weeks to heal and are routinely treated by our expert doctors at our Advanced Podiatry offices with rest, ice, compression, and elevation. Rest is key here: ice and NSAID medication may assist in early days, but the fastest path way to healing is through relative offloading of the fracture site. To be clear, that means no running until your doctor says so. At Advanced Podiatry we often dispense a walking boot to help take some load off the affected area. The stakes are high: a stress fracture can turn into a fracture – fracture, or full break, if you aren’t careful!
Stress Fractures and Runners
Stress fractures of the foot are becoming more common in runners, especially first time marathoners. The growing popularity of marathons among beginning runners has contributed to the increase in repetitive stress injury‘s, including stress fractures of the foot. Often, first time marathoners enter a race with little or improper long-distance training. The lack of experience coupled with the repetitive impact placed on the feet during the run can produce enough stress to cause hairline breaks in the bones of the foot, stress fractures.
Runners at all levels of experience or also at higher risk for stress fractures if they wear improper shoes while running or training, suffer from flat foot or other foot deformities, or osteoporosis. As mentioned above, signs of a stress fracture can include pain, swelling, redness, and possibly bruising of the area. Once the stress fracture is healed Custom Foot Orthotics are often prescribed by our expert doctors at Advanced Podiatry to help prevent recurrence.
Think momentarily: In your opinion, your hair looks terrible. At the very minimum, you comb or brush it. You may cut it or change the style. Moreover, there are keratin, scalp, hot oil and detox treatments. Hair can be rolled, straightened, trimmed, colored or highlighted. Gel, glue, mousse, conditioner, serum, spray or wax can be applied. Hair can be chemically relaxed. Hair can even be transplanted. And these are just hair treatments, not scalp ones! On the other hand, physiologically, scalp treatments make sense. But for purposes here feet are the sole (another homophone) comparison.
Hair is one of the first visual indicators of our outward appearance. Feet are not. Even in warmer weather, when their rankings rise a bit, feet are still not a top contender. People negate proper foot care; is it due to their location on the human body?
So what role does foot massage play here? Not surprisingly, a very good one. When asked where people most want to be massaged, the most common answers are their feet and backs.
Therefore the goal is to recognize that overall foot health means overall foot care. And this includes massaging the feet. If not by a professional, then individuals need to take the time to work on their feet, even just a few minutes a day.
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