Children’s Sports Injuries
Children are not immune from the same kinds of foot and ankle sports injuries that can be suffered by adults. And they can also experience sports injuries that are more specific to their development.
One common example is Sever’s disease. This is not a communicable disease as its name might suggest, but rather a heel pain condition often seen in active children around the ages of 8-14.
During this time of development, the heel is forming new bone at the “growth plate” along the back of the heel. Stress during this period – either from the repetitive impacts of running or a tight Achilles tendon pulling on the heel – can cause pain and inflammation.
It is important to watch for signs of pain and other problems in active children, as they might not want to express their problems due to fear of treatment or letting others down. Any sports injury should be evaluated and addressed promptly to avoid further complications.
Treating Sports Injuries
The key to a better outcome for any sports injury is never ignoring pain and other symptoms – it’s your body’s way of telling you something is wrong. Always stop an activity if you suspect a sports injury and do not try to “walk it off.”
In most cases, injuries left untreated will only become worse or cause more severe problems later. Always have severe or persistent symptoms professionally assessed to determine the causes and an appropriate treatment plan.
If you suspect the injury to be minor, RICE therapy will often help with pain and inflammation during the first 48 hours. RICE stands for:
- REST – Keep weight off the affected foot or ankle.
- ICE – Apply a cold pack to the area for 15-20 minutes at a time, using a thin towel to avoid direct contact with the skin.
- COMPRESS – Wrap the injury with an elastic bandage to help reduce swelling (making sure to loosen if you feel more swelling or pain).
- ELEVATE – Keep the injury above the level of your heart when sitting or lying down.
If the injury is severe or does not improve, call us right away for advice and/or an evaluation.
For most sports injuries, conservative treatment will be an effective means of providing relief and aiding recovery. Our goal will always be to get you back to activity as swiftly as possible without increasing your risk of further injury. A conservative treatment plan might include:
- Further rest, with an exercise plan that does not place excess stress on vulnerable areas
- Anti-inflammatory medications or injections
- Changes to footwear and workout plans
- The use of custom orthotics to shift excess stress away from an injured area
- Laser therapy to aid natural pain relief and accelerated recovery
In cases where conservative treatments do not work or clearly would not, surgery may be considered as an option to provide necessary relief. We will fully discuss such options with you if necessary.