Foot and leg injuries in active children
Most people will agree that living an active lifestyle is a big part of keeping fit and healthy, for children as much as adults. For children, this often means taking part in sports programs at school or at independent sports clubs. But all sports come with a risk of injury at some point, be it rugby, football, tennis or athletics, and the feet and legs are often first in the firing line.
Active children and adolescents are increasingly susceptible to foot and leg pain, deriving from a number of causes:
Sever’s disease is an inflammation of the growth plate in the heel of growing children, caused by repetitive stress to the heel. A tight calf is often the biggest contributing cause!
A condition known as Osgood-Schlatter disease is an inflammation of the area below the knee, where the tendon from the kneecap attaches to the shinbone and is a common cause of knee pain in growing adolescents.
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Shin splints, or medial tibial stress syndrome (MTSS), is another common injury that active children or adolescents can suffer from. Repetitive stress on the shinbone and the fascia that connect the muscles to the bones can cause inflammation and pain. This is especially true when sports are undertaken without warm-up or cool down exercise, or where there are underlying biomechanical factors such as flat feet, weak ankles, hips or core muscles.
Mark Lin, the Principal Sports Podiatrist and Director for Footwork Podiatry, played representative basketball during his childhood in Auckland and sustained numerous foot and ankle injuries during this time. Now as a father who is still active in social basketball and running, he understands the impact that such injuries can have on an active lifestyle, and the importance of managing and preventing such condition.
Says Lin, “Chronic or recurring symptoms occur when there is an interference to the healing process such as scar tissues, biomechanical stress, structural misalignment, or repetitive strain. Our hands-on treatment techniques help to eliminate these obstacles to healing and to promote the body’s natural healing response.
Footwork Podiatry offers a range of non-invasive rehabilitative techniques that they believe are the first line of treatment for foot and leg injuries in children. Their specialised techniques include foot mobilisation, Trigenics, and ART (Active Release Techniques).
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Foot Mobilisation Techniques (FMT) is a manual therapeutic method that aims to naturally improve the position of the joints. The joints are taken through their natural motions to break up adhesions and restrictions, thereby allowing the body to naturally restore optimal biomechanics.
TRIGENICS® is a neurological muscle assessment, treatment and training system which reprograms the way the brain communicates with the body. Principal Sports Podiatrist and Director for Footwork Podiatry, Mark Lin is the first Podiatrist in Australia to be trained and specialised in this unique neuro-muscular treatment system.
Active Release Techniques® (ART) is an effective hands-on technique that reduces pain and improves movement and is globally recognised as a leading treatment for soft-tissue injury.
“Our treatment modalities are safe, eliminate pain without medication or surgery and address the underlying biomechanical causes of foot and leg pain. Our specialised techniques are designed to ensure long term improvements, helping children to stay pain and injury free, achieve optimal function, and improve their overall sports performance.”
Footwork Podiatry is situated in Roseville on Sydney’s North Shore and Sydney CBD. For further information, visit the Sports and Podiatrist Clinic to book online, or call Mark Lin or Wei Lee and their friendly team on +61 2 9416 7889.
The information contained in this guide is provided in good faith and is not intended to be nor is it to be used as a substitute for any sort of professional, medical or podiatric advice. An accurate diagnosis can only be made following personal consultation with a podiatrist. Any users should always seek the advice of their podiatrist, or other qualified healthcare providers before commencing any treatment.
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