Fall sports are here! Time to break out the gear and get the kids excited about playing basketball, soccer, field hockey, track and/or football. Any sport that gets your child moving and motivated is a positive influence. The staff of the Foot Pain Center of Kansas City are often asked if there is any way to prevent foot and ankle injuries. Dr. Goldstein, our esteemed podiatrist and father of two athletic boys, is pleased to say YES, there are a number of things your child can do to help prevent injuries and be a better athlete.
Of course the first step is to make sure you have the proper foot and ankle gear. But even before that we suggest you get your child involved in other, strengthening and stretching activities such as yoga, ballet, martial arts, or swimming. These activities condition feet and ankles and this helps prevent injuries. Also, becoming more flexible and in control of how your body moves improves your child’s performance in their team sport.
Although it is important to stretch and warm up before every game and practice; this is not enough to produce consistent preventative results. Flexibility training is just as important as aerobic and strength training and can prevent stress fractures, tendonitis and pain from over-use. Increasing flexibility helps give your child’s feet and ankles improved range of motion. The more an athlete’s ankle can flex, the less likely they are to experience sprains and strains. Yoga, ballet, and martial arts are great activities for increased flexibility and body conditioning.
In addition to flexibility, you want to make sure your child is strengthening their aerobic capacity. Swimming is a great activity to build aerobic capacity and also has a direct effect of decreasing weight bearing stress on the foot and ankle! Swimming allows the body to focus on working muscles and building endurance without putting any added stress on feet and ankle joints. Any sport or activity that improves lungs and heart while putting zero stress on the knees, feet and ankles, gets Dr. Goldstein’s approval!
Some injuries cannot be avoided. If your child has experienced a foot or ankle injury during sports, the Foot Pain Center of Kansas City has 3 locations to serve your needs. We have the equipment and skills to diagnose and treat sports injuries in children (and adults). Remember, our goal is to prevent foot and ankle pain and if we can’t prevent it we are here to improve your treatment experience and help you recover from injury. You can TRUST your child’s feet and ankles to us!