The Sports Doctor: Overuse injuries similar for different sports

downloadSometimes I’m amazed at the similarities of not only the problems — foot, ankles, shins, knees and back that we see in young athletes — but with the pressures that are also common.

Just last week there were four 13- to 15-year-old kids with “overuse injuries” — all foot mechanics related. An ice dancer, and soccer, volleyball and tennis players. All are serious athletes, playing their sports daily and almost year round. The ice dancer has ankle tendonitis; the volleyball player has knee tendonitis; the soccer player has heel inflammation; and the tennis player has shin splints. The young athletes with their parents would have similar questions and concerns.

We’ve written in numerous articles about how foot type and mechanics can affect not only the feet themselves but all the areas above. I’ve also stressed the “overkill” of these schedules and demand on these young growing bodies. My famous, infamous “intelligent rest” recommendation is usually a tough sell.

Pressure to push and play through many of these persistent overuse injuries comes from numerous places, including coaches, parents, the athlete’s teammates and the athlete themselves. Helping to reduce many of these lower extremity problems that are persistent is the use of prescription orthotics along with physical therapy and strengthening and balance exercises. Hopefully, all four of these young hotshots will safely and quickly get to return to the sports they love. It’s true — all that changes is the uniform!

Let’s get some emails.

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