Back to School is upon us yet again. The summer sun is still beating down on us, but the gorgeous change of seasons is just around the corner. With back to school, for many families, that also means it is time for Fall Sports to begin. Football, Soccer, Field Hockey, Cross Country, Cheerleading, Volleyball, Tennis, and Golf, to name a few, are all beginning! Any sport(s) your child participates in will require a mixture of training, learning new skills, teamwork, and endurance to get the WIN! Along with that winning touchdown or goal, each sport also carries a risk of injury.
Every year, some 1.35 million children suffer injuries while playing sports (Orthopedic Institute of PA). Out of all of those injuries, the most common are sprains, strains, fractures and shin splints. Below you'll see some of the most likely injuries, along with a few things to keep in mind if you are dealing with any of these injuries.
A sprain is defined as "a tear or stretching of your ligaments, which tether bones together at a joint".
Most sprains happen when you twist a part of your body in an awkward, not natural way. Maybe you land on the side of your ankle, instead of on your foot, after you kicked the ball? There are many possible scenariors that can lead to a sprain. A common and very serious sprain that you may have heard about on TV, watching College Sports or maybe the NFL, is when an athlete tears their ACL. An ACL injury could require surgery and many months of rehabilitation.
However in most cases, a sprain can be treated by the following:
- Ice & Compression
- Use of a Splint
- Taking Anti-Inflammatories
Muscle strains typically come from sudden movements in a way your body isn't used to. Sometimes strains also happen because the body is overyused too. Strains are different from Sprains because a strain is an injury to muscle, where a sprain is an injury to ligaments that connect bone.Strains most commonly occur in the legs and the back, but also occur in the neck, elbows, arms, calf muscle and gluteus.
The best, most recommended treatment for a strain is rest, ice and elevation as well. In severe cases surgery might be necessary, but most will recover within a few days.
A runner's WORST nightmare!
Shin splints often develop from participating in sports that require high intensity running such as soccer, field hockey, and cross country. The repetitive running can damage the tissues holding your muscles to your bones. Shin splints typically develop early in the season when your body is not used to the intensity and/or frequency of activity yet. Running on hard surfaces like concrete can also cause shin splints; along with quickly increasing the distance you run before your body is prepared or conditioned to do so.
In most cases, shin splints will clear up with rest and icing. But in some cases further treatment is needed. It is important to see a doctor if the pain persists and does not improve with a few days rest.
How Can You Prevent These Injuries?
Be proactive! Get a sports physical and talk to your doctor about your ability to participate in physical activity.
- Stretch before participating in practice, a game, or a run
- Don't over-do-it! If you feel pain or abnormal soreness, don't push yourself. Rest!
- Drink plenty of water and keep your body hydrated
While conditions such as arthritis, tendonitis, and nerve impingements can cause heel pain, the most common cause is plantar fasciitis. Plantar fasciitis is an inflammation of the connective tissue on the bottom of the foot. Poor biomechanics, lack of supportive footwear, obesity, and overuse contribute to the condition. The pain is typically worse in the morning upon first rising. Pain may present on the bottom of the heel and radiate to the arch, or in the arch alone. Plantar fasciitis typically worsens over time. As with most conditions, the longer one has the issue, the longer it may take to recover.
The best course of treatment uses a multi-modal approach. Henderson Podiatry offers an array of options consisting of: prescribing a day and night splint for support and stretch, stretching exercises to relieve tension, steroid injections to reduce inflammation, supportive footwear and orthotics to promote proper gait mechanics, and following the R.I.C.E. guidelines (Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation). Other treatment options include: laser therapy, physical therapy, and surgery.
Reduce your risk for developing or preventing a recurrence of plantar fasciitis. Be sure to stretch after exercising and be careful not to over train. Wear supportive footwear that does not bend or twist easily. Invest in a good pair of custom orthotics, especially if you work on your feet a lot. If you are experiencing any kind of foot pain that is impacting your daily life, call our office today.
An ingrown toenail, also known as onychocryptosis, occurs when a corner or side of the nail grows into the skin of the toe. This may cause redness, swelling, pain, and possible infection. An ingrown nail is most common, but not limited to, the big toe. The nail may become ingrown on either or both sides of the toe. As with any foot concern, those with weakened immune systems, poor circulation, or diabetes are at greater risk for developing an infection.
Ingrown nails may result from trimming the nails too short or too curved. Toenails should grow to the tip of the toe and be cut straight across. Footwear that is particularly constraining to the toes, may also put excessive pressure on the nails and cause them to be ingrown. An injury to the nail itself can cause an ingrown nail.
Left untreated an infection can arise and in severe cases spread to the bone. Home remedies include: soaking, lifting the nail with a small piece of cotton, applying antibiotic ointment, and taking oral pain relievers. When home remedies don’t correct the issue, it’s time to call the Podiatrist. An ingrown nail can be treated in the office as a minimally invasive procedure. The toe will be injected with a numbing agent. The nail will be partially or fully removed, and a chemical mixture may be applied to prevent regrowth. In cases of partial removal, once healed, the skin will grow back up to the new nail border and look like a normal nail. It is imperative to follow any after care instructions given and if prescribed an oral antibiotic, be sure to take all the allotted doses.
If you have an ingrown nail and experience any signs of an infection (fever, chills, nausea, discharge from the area, red streaking from the affected area, or the area is warm to the touch), call our office to schedule an appointment immediately. It’s best to treat the infection right away, rather then let it develop and spread to other areas of the body.
Warts are areas of hard skin that can present in different forms. They may appear to look like a callus, some are bubbled, and some can be distinguished by small black dots. The dots are the blood vessels that supply the wart. Warts are caused by an infection of the human papilloma virus (HPV). HPV is a transmittable virus that can be spread through contact. HPV thrives in warm moist places such as public swimming pools and gym locker rooms. The virus typically enters the foot through small cracks or breaks in the skin. Not everyone who comes in contact with the virus will develop a wart, but it is always best to take proper precautions. Plantar warts are warts found on the bottom of the foot, typically on the heel or ball of the foot near the toes. Plantar warts can be solitary (just a single wart) or mosaic (a cluster of warts). Since these warts are found on the soles of the feet, they can become painful when weight bearing.
The best prevention method is to always wear proper footwear and never walk barefoot. Keep your feet clean and dry by wearing breathable shoes and changing socks as needed. While it is unlikely to transmit the virus just by touching a wart, it is recommended to use a separate wash cloth for the affected area. Be sure to seek treatment for any household members affected to prevent the spread to others.
Without treatment, some warts may resolve on their own in six months to two years. The most effective treatment combines modalities. Topical and oral medications may be prescribed. The wart may be debrided (clearing the area of dead skin), and laser treatment may be used. Laser therapy is fast and effective as it seals off the blood vessels that supply the wart with nutrients.
If you think you have a wart, notice a change in skin on the bottom of your foot, or have a lesion on your foot, call our office today for a consultation.
What is it?
Are you suffering from white or yellow, brittle or thick toenails? These are signs of onychomycosis, commonly known as toenail fungus. While unsightly, this condition is typically painless, but may be accompanied by a foul odor. Though it is called a fungus, other causes include yeasts and molds. Toenail fungus is contagious and can easily be spread among family members and contracted from public places. Left untreated a fungal infection can cause permanent damage to the nails; and in those with weakened immune systems, the infection can spread beyond the feet.
While anyone can contract toenail fungus, it is more common among the elderly population. It can be picked up from public places such as swimming pools, gyms, and showers. Those patients in immunosuppressed states are also more susceptible to the condition. Other risk factors include: obesity, diabetes, and smoking.
Antifungal topical treatments that are applied directly to the nails are typically recommended. In some cases, an oral medication may also be prescribed. A podiatrist can perform a nail biopsy to determine the type of fungus causing the infection so that the best treatment can be prescribed. In recent years, the FDA has approved the use of laser treatment for toenail fungus. The Cutera Genesis Plus Laser is available to patients in our Willow Street office and has shown to be highly effective in the treatment of toenail fungus.
As with any condition, prevention is key. Keep your nails trimmed properly ensuring not to cut them too short. Wear proper fitting shoes that are breathable and disinfect them with a good spray, often. Synthetic socks help to wick moisture away from the feet keeping them drier than a cotton blend and deterring the growth and spread of fungus. Always avoid going barefoot in public places. If a member of the household is affected, get them treatment immediately to prevent the spread to others.
If you are concerned about your nails, especially if you are diabetic, contact our office today. Toenail fungus is not something that should just be covered up. Let us provide an effective treatment to prevent the spread and transmission of the fungus and get your nails looking their best!
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