Although the year is flying by, school sports are still going strong. As the fall sports end, the winter ones are preparing for their own seasons. Any athlete knows the importance of protecting his or her lower limbs to be able to play well. Issues like turf toe could ruin a season—but there are ways to help protect children’s feet from these injuries.
Turf toe is a painful sprain in the supporting ligaments around the big toe. It happens when the toe gets jammed backwards past the normal range of motion, which can happen fairly easily during sports. It can sideline an athlete for a little while or for the whole season, depending on how bad it is damaged. Since this is usually a traumatic injury, there’s no guaranteed way to protect your children’s feet—however, you can make it much less likely that the damage will develop.
The most important step is to make sure your young athlete always wears the right pair of shoes for his or her sport. Don’t skimp on footwear. This means investing in the cleats, high-tops, running shoes, or other sports footwear that was designed for that particular activity. Make sure the pair you choose fits your son or daughter properly, and isn’t too flexible through the sole, since that can allow the big toe to bend back too far. This is especially important for cleats.
You may be able to use a special insert to help protect the forefoot, too. Helping your child condition his or her feet to be stronger is important as well. Toe exercises stabilize your digit and build up strength in supporting structures, so the feet are less likely to suffer an injury. It isn’t always possible to prevent an accident, so make sure your child knows the signs of turf toe. Catching a problem early can help your child get the treatment he or she needs for a quicker recovery.
Don’t wait for your little athlete to have a problem to protect his or her feet. Let Advanced Foot & Ankle Specialists of Arizona help you reduce chances of an injury. You can make an appointment with us by calling, faxing, or using the online request forms. To reach our Chandler location directly, call (480) 963-9000 and fax (480) 963-0375. To reach the Gilbert office, call (480) 981-1800 and fax (480) 981-0229.
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