Back to school also means back to fall sports and for us at Texas Foot Specialists that means an increase in ankle injuries for our younger patients. Although some injuries are unexpected and difficult to anticipate such as on-field collisions between players, there are ways to reduce or eliminate many common causes of ankle sprains. Consider these tips:
Get Old Sprains Checked Before the New Season
If your son or daughter has sprained their ankle in the past, make an appointment at our Sugar Land, Pasadena or Houston office for an exam. Our podiatrists Dr. Bruce Miller and Dr. Gregory Mangum will be able to evaluate the ankle and see if it is completely healed. This will help them determine if bracing or other strengthening methods are necessary. Old sprains that have not fully and properly healed are the leading cause of new ankle sprains.
Invest in the Right Shoes
There’s a lot of talk about protective gear for youth on the playing fields these days and the protection for feet is in the shoes. Choose shoes that are designed for the specific sport your child is playing. This is not marketing hype. Different sports emphasize different movements of the foot and good sports shoes are designed to facilitate the necessary moves. Have your child’s foot professionally measured and never use hand me down sports shoes. Even if your child’s size has not changed, carefully inspect last season’s shoes before allowing your child to play in them. Footwear that’s worn and stretched out or has loose pieces in the front can greatly increase the risk of ankle twisting and tripping.
Encourage Safe Sports Practices
Be sure that warm ups and stretching are part of your child’s practice regimen. Workouts should build up gradually in intensity and duration. Children should not be encouraged to play when they are in pain. Fields should be in good repair with no divots, holes or uneven spots that can result in ankle injuries.
Treat Injuries Promptly
If an ankle injury does happen, seek medical treatment immediately. A delay in starting rehabilitation of an ankle injury can result in longer healing time and a less than full recovery. For an appointment, call (281) 242-4448 for Sugar Land, (281) 991-0600 for Pasadena and (713) 664-6677 for the Houston office.