A Parental Primer On Sports-Related Foot And Ankle Injuries

Being on a sports team can be very beneficial to a child. It is great for your child's physical health and his/her social skills. It, however, can also be fairly nerve-wracking to be the parent of an athlete. As the parent of an athlete, it can be helpful to learn more about some of the more common sports-related foot and ankle injuries.

Plantar Fasciitis

The plantar fascia is a common source of pain for anyone who is physically active. This is especially true for athletes who wear shoes that lack a proper amount of support for their foot muscles. Plantar fasciitis is a medical condition in which the plantar fascia becomes inflamed. In some cases of plantar fasciitis, this muscle can even suffer from micro-tearing. Plantar fasciitis is a condition that presents itself worse first thing in the morning. With the very first steps, your teenager athlete feels, he or she will experience a tenderness along his or her arch and heel. This condition can make the first few steps every morning painful and nearly unbearable. This is such a common foot condition that nearly two million people are treated by podiatrists for it every year.


As far as sports-related foot and ankle conditions are concerned, your teenage athlete will get some relief when the doctor tells him or her it isn't broken. Unfortunately, the pain will still keep your teenage athlete out of the game until it heels. Teenage athletes who participate in sports which involve running are the most common victims of sprains as they are more likely to trip and fall over something. However, any sport involving a sudden change in direction will put your child at risk. The upside is the treatment for a sprain rarely requires surgery.

Heel Spur

A heel spur is just an abnormal growth on the bottom heel bone of an athlete. It is fairly common and sounds a lot scary than it is. Other than the possibility of causing your teenage athlete a little pain, heel spurs are nothing to worry about.

Ingrown Toenail

An ingrown toenail might not seem like a big deal, but it can be a very painful problem for a teenage athlete. In fact, the pain from an ingrown toenail can be so great your teenage athlete has to sit out. If the ingrown toenail is ignored, it can become infected.

As you can see, sports-related injuries do not mean you will be rushing your teenage athlete to the emergency room for surgery. In fact, sometimes the names just sound scarier than they are. If your teenage athlete has a sports-related injury, take him or her to a podiatrist for a check-up. The podiatrist will be able to provide your teenager with a treatment plan and additional reading. Furthermore, the podiatrist can offer advice on how to prevent a repeat of the same injury.