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Have your child's feet been examined lately? Healthy feet are happy feet. If your child is complaining of foot pain, it may be a sign of underlying problems.
Pickleball is one of the most popular sports people are playing now because it is slower and has a lower intensity compared to other sports. However, despite it seeming to be an easier form of exercise, injuries to all parts of the body can still be sustained. Ailments from pickleball related to the feet are commonly associated with the Achilles tendon and ankles. An Achilles strain involves the tendon in the back of the ankle that connects the calf to the heel. This can happen from the sudden stop-and-go actions in pickleball and can be accompanied by a sharp, snapping feeling. Ankle sprains are injuries to the ligaments on the side of the ankle and are typically caused by missteps or faulty landings. Wearing well-fitting and supportive footwear, warming up before playing pickleball, doing stretching and strengthening exercises regularly, and using ankle braces can help. If you get injured during pickleball or get another sports injury, it is important to rest. If pain persists or worsens, see a podiatrist as soon as possible to get a proper diagnosis and treatment plan so you can return to pain-free play.
Sports related foot and ankle injuries require proper treatment before players can go back to their regular routines. For more information, contact Matthew McQuaid, DPM of Lake Mendocino Podiatry. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.
Sports Related Foot and Ankle Injuries
Foot and ankle injuries are a common occurrence when it comes to athletes of any sport. While many athletes dismiss the initial aches and pains, the truth is that ignoring potential foot and ankle injuries can lead to serious problems. As athletes continue to place pressure and strain the area further, a mild injury can turn into something as serious as a rupture and may lead to a permanent disability. There are many factors that contribute to sports related foot and ankle injuries, which include failure to warm up properly, not providing support or wearing bad footwear. Common injuries and conditions athletes face, including:
Sports related injuries are commonly treated using the RICE method. This includes rest, applying ice to the injured area, compression and elevating the ankle. More serious sprains and injuries may require surgery, which could include arthroscopic and reconstructive surgery. Rehabilitation and therapy may also be required in order to get any recovering athlete to become fully functional again. Any unusual aches and pains an athlete sustains must be evaluated by a licensed, reputable medical professional.
As a parent or guardian, you may wonder if your young child’s stance or gait is normal as they learn how to stand and walk. As your child grows, most issues will work themselves out, but there are some things you should monitor. When babies are born, they do not have arches, which is known as having flat feet. Typically, by the time a child is 6 years old, their arch is developed and visible when they stand. Around the age of 4, many children will have a small gap between their ankles when standing with their knees together (knock knees) which should go away by the age of 6 or 7 when their legs straighten out fully. If the gap is between both their knees and ankles, this is known as bow legs. This condition is commonly present in children less than 18 months old. Some young children walk on their tiptoes (tiptoe walking) until approximately 3 years of age, and thereafter will usually adopt the normal heel-to-toe walking pattern. Feet that turn in (in-toeing) or turn out (out-toeing) will usually start pointing straight by themselves when the child is roughly 8 years old. Regular check-ups with a podiatrist will help ensure that your child’s feet are developing normally. Also, if the issues mentioned here do not go away on their own, or you have any concerns about your child’s foot or ankle health, have your child examined by a podiatrist right away.
Making sure that your children maintain good foot health is very important as they grow. If you have any questions, contact Matthew McQuaid, DPM of Lake Mendocino Podiatry. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.
Keeping Children's Feet Healthy
Having healthy feet during childhood can help prevent medical problems later in life, namely in the back and legs. As children grow, their feet require different types of care. Here are some things to consider...
Although babies do not walk yet, it is still very important to take care of their feet.
Avoid putting tight shoes or socks on his or her feet.
Allow the baby to stretch and kick his or her feet to feel comfortable.
As a toddler, kids are now on the move and begin to develop differently. At this age, toddlers are getting a feel for walking, so don’t be alarmed if your toddler is unsteady or ‘walks funny’.
As your child gets older, it is important to teach them how to take care of their feet.
Show them proper hygiene to prevent infections such as fungus.
Be watchful for any pain or injury.
Have all injuries checked by a doctor as soon as possible.
Comfortable, protective shoes should always be worn, especially at play.
Many people who enjoy running can experience a small amount of normal discomfort. This may be from strengthening the heart and leg muscles. Additionally, there are people who have persistent pain, and this is something that requires immediate attention. An improper running form or increasing distance and intensity too soon could result in injury. A common foot injury that affects the heel is known as plantar fasciitis, and this can cause difficulty in walking. There are simple methods that can help prevent running injuries. These methods consist of wearing shoes that fit correctly, in addition to avoiding running on uneven surfaces. Many runners can experience a stress fracture which is a hairline fracture. This type of injury is often ignored and can lead to severe pain and discomfort. This condition may be prevented by properly warming up and cooling down before running. An ankle sprain generally requires running to be stopped temporarily so an effective healing process can take place. If you would like more information about how to prevent running injuries, please confer with a podiatrist.
All runners should take extra precaution when trying to avoid injury. If you have any concerns about your feet, contact Matthew McQuaid, DPM of Lake Mendocino Podiatry. Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.
How to Prevent Running Injuries
There are a lot of mistakes a runner can make prior to a workout that can induce injury. A lot of athletes tend to overstretch before running, instead of saving those workouts for a post-run routine. Deep lunges and hand-to-toe hamstring pulls should be performed after a workout instead of during a warmup. Another common mistake is jumping into an intense routine before your body is physically prepared for it. You should try to ease your way into long-distance running instead of forcing yourself to rush into it.
More Tips for Preventing Injury
Custom orthotics are shoe or heel inserts prescribed by a doctor to help with various foot problems. Orthotics are used to correct foot deformities, help feet or ankles function better, and reduce risk of injury. Podiatrists can recommend custom orthotics as part of treatment plans for patients suffering from arthritis, bunions, flat feet or high arches, hammertoes, heel spurs, and plantar fasciitis. The type of material used for the orthotic determines how stiff it is. Rigid orthotics are usually made of a hard plastic or carbon fiber and provide more stability and support but may be less comfortable than softer orthotics. Softer orthotics are more flexible because they bend with your feet. Each type is appropriate for different foot conditions. Rigid orthotics are good for those who have plantar fasciitis or Achilles tendonitis. This type of orthotic takes more time to adjust to but over time becomes more comfortable. Soft orthotics are usually made of EVA (a more rubber-like material) and fit more closely against the foot than rigid orthotics. They are used for those who have heel pain as they mold to hurt areas and cushion sore spots. Soft orthotics are good for those who participate in high impact sports where the feet move quickly. Consulting with a podiatrist takes the decision of which type of orthotic is best for you out of your hands as they are experts in diagnosing foot problems and offering treatment options that fit your unique needs.
If you are having discomfort in your feet and would like to try orthotics, contact Matthew McQuaid, DPM from Lake Mendocino Podiatry. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.
What Are Orthotics?
Orthotics are inserts you can place into your shoes to help with a variety of foot problems such as flat feet or foot pain. Orthotics provide relief and comfort for minor foot and heel pain but can’t correct serious biomechanical problems in your feet.
Orthotics come in a wide variety of over-the-counter inserts that are used to treat foot pain, heel pain, and minor problems. For example, arch supports can be inserted into your shoes to help correct overarched or flat feet, while gel insoles are often used because they provide comfort and relief from foot and heel pain by alleviating pressure.
If over-the-counter inserts don’t work for you or if you have a more severe foot concern, it is possible to have your podiatrist prescribe custom orthotics. These high-quality inserts are designed to treat problems such as abnormal motion, plantar fasciitis, and severe forms of heel pain. They can even be used to help patients suffering from diabetes by treating foot ulcers and painful calluses and are usually molded to your feet individually, which allows them to provide full support and comfort.
If you are experiencing minor to severe foot or heel pain, it’s recommended to speak with your podiatrist about the possibilities of using orthotics. A podiatrist can determine which type of orthotic is right for you and allow you to take the first steps towards being pain-free.