Warning: Fall Sports Ahead

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Although summer appears to be in full swing, the fall sports season for high school athletes is right around the corner. At Pasco-Hernando Foot & Ankle, one of the primary underlying reasons for sports injuries we see in youth is the lack of proper preparation before the season begins. Below are suggestions for helping your child get ready for a safe and hopefully injury-free fall sports season.

Everybody Off the Couch—for many young people recreation has become sedentary with the biggest workout happening to hands and fingers holding electronic devices. Moving abruptly from couch to intense physical workouts is a sure path to injuries like shin splints and Achilles tendonitis. Encourage your child to be active: swimming, biking and even walking more during the remaining weeks of summer. Plan some family time hiking or engaged in other physical activities—it will help everyone stay or get in shape and allow for some quality sharing time as well. You may also want to talk to your child’s coach about appropriate pre-season exercises.

Checkup on Old Injuries—if your child has sustained a toe, foot or ankle injury in the past, a checkup with our podiatrist, Dr. Lawrence J. Kales, is a good idea to make sure nothing has changed. You can make an appointment by contacting our Spring Hill (352 683-5799) or Hudson (727-868-2128) office. If your child suffers from a chronic podiatric condition such as Sever’s disease or plantar fasciitis, the podiatrist can make suggestions regarding footwear and workouts and recommendations for managing their problem during the sports season.

Do a Shoe Evaluation—even if your child’s sport shoes still fit, chances are they are showing signs of wear. Look for worn treads, lack of support (if you can fold the shoe in half, support is gone), tears in the material, flattened heels. If your child needs new shoes, go to a sports shoe store and get them professionally measured and fitted. Different sports require different foot movements and many of today’s shoes are designed for maximum comfort and performance for a specific sport.

If you have questions about the health and safety of your child’s feet in relation to sports, contact us today.