It's a common sports story when a high-profile athlete plays through games while suffering from an injury.
Heroism or poor judgment? Here at the Podiatry Group of Annapolis, P.A., we do not recommend playing through the pain of a sports-related injury, especially for a child or teenager. Keeping competitive pressure on an injured ankle or foot can cause even more damage that can result in a longer recovery period or even end an athletic career.
Continuing a workout with a stress fracture can worsen that injury into a full fracture, plus you may injure yourself in a completely different spot because your body will compensate and protect the original injury.
Teach Your Child the Importance of Reporting an Injury
Take some time to have a dedicated talk with your young athlete about healthy sports. They must be aware of the limitations of their bodies. Share the importance of speaking up if they are injured including to their coaches during competitions. Your child must understand that good health must come first rather than winning a game, and that it's okay to sit on the bench until cleared to return to competition.
If your child complains of any pain or injury or if you notice an unusual gait such as favoring a foot, call us right away for an evaluation. We'll perform a careful diagnosis and promptly treat any problems that we find.
Preventing Youth Injury in Sports
- Make sure that coaches are trained in their sport as well as in CPR and first aid.
- Always equip your child with the right gear for each sport, including footwear.
- Let your child know the importance of warm-ups, cool-downs and stretching.
- Have the coach evaluate your child for strengths and weaknesses and ask for specific exercises that can build up weak areas to reduce the risk of injury.
- Encourage your child to stay well hydrated before, during and after activities.
- Protect the skin with sunscreen to reduce the chance of serious sunburn with accompanying skin damage.
Learn more at the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases website.
If your child injures a foot or ankle, be sure to bring him or her in for an evaluation as soon as possible. Until then, use the R.I.C.E. method for temporary at-home treatment: Rest the foot, Ice the area, apply Compression with an elastic bandage and Elevate the leg.
Avoid Sports Injuries by Carefully Preparing and Monitoring Your Child
Dr. James M. McKee, DPM, board certified podiatrist at the Podiatry Group of Annapolis, P.A. has the right experience to diagnose and treat sports injuries in any age group, along with all types of foot and ankle pain. Please call us at 410-224-4448 to make an appointment at our office in Annapolis, MD. You can also request an appointment at the website. A sports injury won't get better by itself - call us today to start down the road to recovery!