In our previous blog post, we talked about the common sports-related injuries seen in children and teens, and what you can do to help prevent these injuries. In addition to an increased risk of concussions in children and teens playing sports, the number of sports-related knee injuries suffered by kids also is on the rise per studies.
According to a report from the non-profit advocacy group, Safe Kids Worldwide, knee injuries are the fourth most commonly injured body part. Knee injuries account for 9% of all sports-related injury ER visits for children and teens. Many of these knee injuries are tears to the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), the ligament in the middle of the knee that helps connect the two major bones in the leg.
Young female athletes have a higher likelihood of ACL injuries than male athletes. They are 8 times more likely to suffer a tear to their ACL. Doctors are not sure why this disparity exists; however, biomechanical factors and hormone levels may be factors. Having an ACL tear increases your child’s risk of developing degenerative knee arthritis in adulthood ten-fold.
Basketball, football and soccer are common sports linked to ACL tears. An ACL injury can occur when your child:
- Gets hit very hard on the side of the knee, like during a football tackle.
- Overextends the knee joint.
- Quickly stops moving and changes direction while running, landing from a jump or turning.
Proper sports training and increased awareness of the signs and symptoms of ACL tears can help prevent this type of injury.
Early symptoms of an ACL injury include:
- A “popping” sound in the kneed at the time of the injury.
- Knee swelling within 6 hours of the injury.
- Pain when the child tries to place weight on the injured leg.
- Instability of the knee or the feeling it is going to “give way” when placing weight on the injured leg.
Here are some ways your child can protect their knees and cut down their risk of injury. Your child should:
- Work on developing and maintaining core and hip muscle, as well as hamstring, strength through a progressive exercise program.
- Work on developing and maintaining their balance and agility through core muscle exercises.
- Ensure your child’s coach is teaching your child how to properly land from a jump. The child’s knees and hips should be bent when landing. They should never land with their legs straight since this action can place stress on the ACL. Also their knees shouldn’t collapse inward in a knock-knee position. Make sure your child understands the importance of performing proper landings.
- Always perform warm-up exercises, including stretching, prior to practices and games.
ezWalker® Performance Custom Orthotics Relieve Sports-related Foot Pain
While ezWalker® Performance Custom Orthotics can’t help prevent a sports-related ACL tear from occurring, they can biomechanically improve any underlying pronation issues your child may have that can lead to knee pain. When your child’s feet are improperly functioning, their body can become misaligned, increasing stress on their ligaments.
First, if your child is complaining about knee pain, it’s best to have their feet examined by a certified professional. If custom orthotics are recommended, they can help your child’s feet function more efficiently while correcting skeletal misalignments and providing stability and support. ezWalker® Performance Custom Orthotics for Casual/Sport work in all types of shoes since they’re ultra thin and ¾ length. Plus, they come with a 90-day, money-back guarantee.
For more information on children’s foot orthotics, contact the WalkEzStore.com.
Because … when your children’s feet feel good, they feel good.®
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