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Tips to Avoid Student Athlete Injuries This Fall
Date:9/17/2013

eel counter (back of the shoe) should be very stable.

It is important to inspect shoe wear regularly. If there is uneven wear to the heel counter (back of the shoe) or the shoe begins to bend in the middle, it should be replaced. On average an athletic shoe should be replaced every 6 months or more frequently in an avid runner.

Cross training shoes are good choices; however, it is best to use sport-specific shoes.

? Avoid running or stepping on uneven surfaces.
Be careful on rocky terrain, hills with loose gravel or uneven grass fields. If the athlete has problems with their legs, a dirt road is softer than asphalt, which is softer than concrete. Try to pick a good surface with the softest terrain being preferred. And, be sure to train on the surface the sport is generally held on.

? Cool down after any athletic activity.
Make sure the level of activity is much less strenuous than the workout. Avoid abrupt changes in pace and gradually bring the body back to a pre-workout state. This will help to reduce muscle soreness and prevent further injury. It is very important to stretch after activity, as the muscles are more elastic and pliable. This is when the most improvement in flexibility can be obtained.    

? Prevent recurrent injuries.
Athletes who have experienced foot and ankle injuries previously may benefit from using a brace or tape to prevent recurrent ankle injuries. The injured athlete should go through a period of rehabilitation and training before returning to sport.

? Listen to the body.
If foot and ankle pain is experienced during a sport, stop or modify the activity until the pain subsides. If pain does not resolve the athlete should seek attention of the athletic trainer or team podiatrist overseeing the sport.

To help ensure appropriate evaluation and diagnosis of new and recurrent sports related foot and ankle injuries, visit a podiatric physician.
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