Running Doctor: Athletic Injuries in Children
Published 1:05 am, Friday, January 29, 2010
In many cases there is a predisposition for injuries that occur in adolescent athletes.
The following are some telltale signs that may help to prevent future injuries in a child:
--The child tends to stumble or even trip while walking or running.
--One shoulder is lower than the other.
--The hips are asymmetrical when walking or running.
--The knees point, inward or outward rather than straight ahead.
--There is an early heel-off with all the weight going to the ball of the foot.
--When the child stands, the arches are very high or extremely flat.
--The child complains of night cramps that wake him or her in the night or muscle spasms in the feet and legs.
--The child has notcieable hammertoes, bunions or bony enlargements in the forefoot or rearfoot.
--The wear pattern on the child's shoes appears to be worn down on the outside or inside.
If some or a few of these signs are present, the child should be professionally evaluated as prevention is the best form of treatment.
It is the group of pre-teens and teens who play two or more sports that I am most concerned with, as there is greater chance of overuse injuries. There is also a greater chance of injury to the epiphysis, or growth center, of the bone. Injury to the epiphysis of the heel, knee or hip can cause a disturbance in the bone formation. The growing pains of children are at times to pain of the apophyseal (heel growth plate) injury.
Many of the gait abnormalities can be helped by stretching, strengthening exercises, conditioning programs, ice therapy, cross training and biomechanical orthotic shoe inserts which should control the problem and allow the child to continue with his or her respective sport.