Overland Park Office - 10701 Nall Ave., Suite 120, Overland Park, KS 66211
Blue Springs Office - 1050 South Outer Road, Blue Springs, MO 64015

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The start of a new school year brings more than just a return to academics. For many students, it also means rejoining their school sports teams or even simply becoming active again in gym class. Sometimes things go smoothly, and other times damage occurs. Foot injuries are common among the active, back-to-school crowd, and are something for the parents of athletes to think about.

Ankle sprain - This painful ailment accounts for over 16 percent of high school sports injuries and ranks as the most common overall. Sprains occur more often in competition when victory is on the line and enthusiasm fuels energetic play, although students can hurt their ankles in practice as well. The treatment for a sprained ankle involves rest and taking measures to reduce swelling. Think RICE: rest the ankle, ice the area, compress the injury with a compression wrap and elevate the foot.

Sever's Disease - If your child complains of heel pain, it could be Sever's disease. An inflammation of the growth plate in the heel, Sever's occurs more often during rapid growth spurts, and in kids who are more physically active. The age range in which Sever's most typically occurs is 8-to-13 for girls and 10-to-15 for boys. Impact stress from sports or even too much time standing can contribute to this condition, the treatment of which is RICE, foot and leg exercises and pain relief.

Stress fracture - This overuse injury occurs when the bones of the feet are repeatedly stressed by activity without ample rest and healing time in between. Overtraining, training too hard too soon, poor technique, inadequate nutrition and improper footwear can all contribute to a foot stress fracture. Six-to-eight weeks is the time it typically takes a stress fracture to heal, during which your child should rest the injured foot using crutches, a brace or walking boot.

Parents and coaches can work together to minimize the risk of foot injuries when children go back to school sports. Coaches can teach their athletes how to warm up properly and safely, ensure that conditioning happens gradually rather than too quickly, as well as instruct students to respond appropriately to pain signals from their feet. Parents can reinforce these lessons, moderate their children's schedules to allow for rest and supply proper footwear.

If your child is in school sports and has symptoms of a foot injury, the expertise of a podiatrist is the best solution for diagnosis and treatment. Our team at fleishmandpm.com is here to help you and your athlete on the road to recovery.

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