Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Back to School Sports Injury Prevention Tips

By Dr. Dalia Krakowsky, Podiatrist, Marshfield Clinic Minocqua and Park Falls Centers

The fall time for our community’s children typically means back to books and homework. For many of them it also means back to fall sports. Many return to strenuous sports such as football, cross-country running, and basketball after a summer of relaxing. This can predispose them to injury. This can further be exacerbated by a child’s level of physical maturity and degree of athletic ability.

Proper training and conditioning can help prevent injury as well as help improve coordination and overall physical performance. There are several methods one can help avoid injury.

One of the most important ways to avoid sport related injuries in all activities is to properly warm up. Warming up helps to loosen muscles and prepare for an athletic activity. This includes proper stretching (but not overstretching), whether it be passive or dynamic as well as a light cardiovascular warm up.

Other ways to help avoid injuries is proper training prior to competition, which is typically sport specific and well managed by team coaches and trainers. Training typically includes cardiovascular fitness, strengthening and conditioning, stretching and improving flexibility, coordination and agility improvements as well as other sport specific modalities.

Despite proper warming up and training, a child still may unfortunately incur an injury during athletics. Injuries are commonly seen as a result of overuse, and are often seen as the sport season progresses. Common injuries include:

1.Ankle sprains: This can involve either a partial tear or stretching of ankle ligaments. Symptoms may include ankle pain, swelling and bruising. Treatment typically involves a period of rest, icing, and either protective weight-bearing with a boot or a period of non-weight-bearing. It may take several weeks and often months for complete healing to occur. Once symptoms improve it is important to restore balance, coordination and strength in order to help prevent recurrence.

1.Shin splints: This can occur due to improper training, increase in acceleration during athletics, or overtraining. It can also be seen in sports where running on an incline or with quick acceleration is performed. Symptoms typically include pain to the front of the leg with activity, alleviated with rest. Treatment predominantly includes rest, possible use of physical therapy modalities and anti-inflammatory measures. Prevention of recurrence typically includes slower progression through the specific sport, conditioning and possible use of orthotics.

1.Heel pain: This can be a result of inflammation of the plantar fascia (the ligament that attaches to the bottom of the heel bone), inflammation of the heel cord as it attaches to the back of the heel bone, or inflammation of the growth plate located at the back of the heel bone. Symptoms typically include pain and possible swelling. Treatment is catered to the level of discomfort, and can include icing, resting, use of heel cushions and orthotics.

1.Stress Fractures/Fractures: Fractures due to overuse are less commonly seen in younger people, as their bones are often more flexible. As a child matures, they are more predisposed to stress fractures due to overuse. Symptoms typically consist of pain and often associated swelling. There can be bruising as well. Often advanced imaging such as an MRI or a bone scan is needed to further evaluate a fracture if it is not easily seen on an X-ray. Treatment depends on level of injury and can involve rest, protective weight-bearing in a boot, non-weight-bearing in a cast or surgery to repair the injury.

If your child complains of pain, or has symptoms of unusual swelling, contact a health care provider to immediate care in order to prevent worsening of the situation. Early detection of a specific injury and early treatment means your child can most likely return to their sport or activity in a timely fashion.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Check out these shoes!!!!

NBA All Star John Starks and founder of Ektio shoes talk about the new high-top basketball shoe that potentially can prevent ankle sprains.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Giants Prince Amukamara out indefinitely

Amukamara fractured his fifth metatarsal and will undergo surgery.  It is his very first broken bone and surgery he has ever had!  To read the whole article click here.

Lawsuit pending against toning shoes

The new fad of toning shoes might not be the best option for most of the general public.  To read the entire article regarding the lawsuit click here.

Lions rookie Nick Fairley has foot surgery

Lions cant catch a break!!!  Nick Fairley was injured in practice last Monday and underwent surgery a few days later.  He will have to miss a big portion of training camp and it is unsure if he will be ready by the start of the regular season.  To read the entire article click here.