If your son or daughter has sustained a foot or ankle injury from high school sports, your first thought may be to take them to your family physician. Instead, you should consider seeing a foot and ankle specialist. Known more generally as podiatrists, they have a specialty in this area of the body. Better yet, you can take your child to a podiatrist with a focus on sports medicine. The following are a few good reasons to do this.
They can accelerate the healing process
Of course, how much more quickly your child will recover from their injury will depend upon the nature of the injury. But a podiatrist has specialized knowledge and more experience than a general practitioner. They will know what works best to accelerate the healing process—especially for growing teenagers. If participation in high school athletics is important to your teenager, you owe it to them to help get them back to participating in their favorite sport.
They can help to minimize or eliminate pain
There are many ways to manage pain, and a podiatrist can often eliminate pain. Depending upon the nature of the problem, there are a variety of recommendations that a doctor can make. The application of heat or cold to the area of the foot or ankle may reduce pain. Soaking feet can also help. There are topical creams that can relieve pain, and a podiatrist may even prescribe medications to provide temporary relief. Cortisone shots can be effective when the condition is extremely painful.
They can help to prevent future injuries
Because they are familiar with how these injuries occur, a podiatrist can also provide information on prevention. When the injuries relate to the muscles, such as the plantar fascia, a doctor can teach your child stretching techniques. For ankle injuries, a doctor can teach the proper way to wrap an ankle to give it support during the competition. Certain shoes may be better for certain types of sports. In some cases, your teenager may be wearing a shoe that isn't good for them in any sport. It is important to get input from a doctor and ignore the commercials and hype around athletic shoe commercials.
Even though your child is in high school, the injuries to their feet and ankles should be given serious attention. Although you can take your teenager to your family doctor, it is better to find a podiatrist with experience in foot and ankle injuries that happen from sports. They will be better able to accelerate the healing process, minimize your child's pain, and make recommendations to prevent future injuries. For more information, visit websites like http://www.elmhurstpodiatry.com.