The chill is in the air, kids are in school again and sports are full steam ahead. It’s an exciting time to try new things, make new friends, and stay active even in the dreary colder months. Before your child gets started with sports, it’s important to take the time to properly prepare them for this level of physical activity. Foot & Ankle Surgical Associates is here to help by offering foot exams and treatment services to keep your kids happy and healthy all season long. If your child is need of any support or treatment for foot conditions, contact Foot & Ankle Surgical Associates so they can get back to enjoying their sports!

Alivia sitting in the doctor's chair at Foot & Ankle in Olympia
Foot & Ankle Surgical Associates is here to help youth prepare for fall sports. Alivia was happy to get her feet checked out to make sure she was good to go! Photo courtesy: Foot & Ankle Surgical Associates

Ways to Prevent Injury or Discomfort in Sports

Sports involve a great deal of running around, kicking, jumping, sliding, and many other things related to feet. It is critical to make sure your child has the proper gear to keep their feet protected and safe during their team practices and games. Shoes are the first place to start when getting your child ready for the sports season. Different sports may require different types of shoes, such as cleats for soccer or running shoes for track. No matter the type of shoe, it is essential to make sure it fits snugly without being too tight and is never loose enough to cause the foot to slide around inside. These problems can easily result in injury or pain as your child becomes more active and involved in their sport. Foot & Ankle Surgical Associates also makes custom orthotics can provide essential cushion and support to make the right shoe even better.

For most children, playing sports is exciting and fun, so they are eager to get out there and compete. Because of this, children will often play through injuries and overlook pain and discomfort, and may even take this habit into adulthood. This can be a problematic behavior because playing through the pain will only aggravate and worsen the injury. Parents should be sure to check in with their children frequently about how they are feeling and coach their kids to be aware of their bodies. It is much better to sit out for a game or two rather than exacerbate an injury and miss the whole season.

Before the season starts, it is also a good idea to help condition your child for the physical activity ahead. Sports require cardiovascular endurance and muscular strength, which can easily be lost over summer vacation. A few weeks before the first practice, begin helping your child develop their physical fitness again by engaging in some light activity, such as walking, biking, or even just playing outside. For more competitive athletes, some structured aerobic and strength training workouts can be a great way to help youth prepare for the upcoming sports season and prevent injuries from lack of use.

Youth Sports Support at Foot & Ankle Surgical Associates

Tyler sitting in the doctor's chair at Foot & Ankle in Olympia
Foot & Ankle Surgical Associates is ready to help all kids, including their staff’s family! Their staff member’s son Tyler had a baseball injury and was grateful for the help in recovering. Photo courtesy: Foot & Ankle Surgical Associates

Prior to the first practice, a physical exam should be scheduled with your primary care provider to make sure your child is in proper health for sports. Underlying health issues or concerns can be easily addressed before the sports season begins and give your family great peace of mind throughout the year. An annual physical exam also helps establish a baseline for your child’s health and develop a connection with their doctor. If an injury or issue arises, there is a much clearer progression that can be witnessed and it is often much easier to treat the conditions with that first physical as the foundation.

Most primary doctors will perform a thorough evaluation, but in some instances the feet are forgotten in lieu of more prominent areas such as the heart and lungs. During your appointment, make sure to have your child’s feet examined to ensure there aren’t any areas of concern that the doctor sees. While they cannot conduct general physical exams for sports, the podiatry team at Foot & Ankle Surgical Associates is available to provide support for any foot-related conditions or concerns to make sure nothing will impede your child’s ability to safely play sports.

Throughout the sports season, slight injuries or issues may arise simply due to the nature of the game. It may seem that most injuries are relatively normal or harmless, such as a rolled ankle or bruised toe, but these things can sometimes worsen without the right treatment plan. Rather than taking the chance, it is recommended to visit with a podiatrist at Foot & Ankle Surgical Associates to have the injury or uncomfortable area examined to ensure nothing more serious is going on. From here, your podiatrist can provide strategies to help your child recover fully and safely so they can get back out on the court or field in no time.

If your child is preparing for sports or is experiencing any pain so far in their foot or ankle, contact Foot & Ankle Surgical Associates. They are eager to keep your child safe and help them be the best they can be all season long!

Foot & Ankle Surgical Associates
404 Black Hills Lane SW #B, Olympia

Foot & Ankle Surgical Associates
1610 Bishop Rd SW #7, Tumwater

Foot & Ankle Surgical Associates
5210 Corporate Center Ct SE #A, Lacey


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