Does your son or daughter have heel pain? 3 Steps for prevention and recovery.

Heel pain is becoming more and more common among active kids, tweens and young teens. If your child is suffering, there is help! Advanced Orthopedic’s Dr. Paul Stone, a specialist in complex reconstructive surgery of the foot and ankle, answers three of the most common questions about heel pain in kids:

My child has severe heel pain after sports practice, what is causing this?

Heel pain (also called Sever’s Disease) typically occurs in highly active kids ages 9 to 14 whose feet are still growing and not fully developed. While kids’ feet are growing, the process of forming new bone leaves a structural weakness in the back of the heel.  Strain on that growth area causes the growth plate to become inflamed, which results in heel pain that gets worse with increased activity. High activity and growth spurts also place strain on the Achilles, while repetitive activities like running and jumping exploit that weakness and increase the pain.

My kids have not yet experience pain, but they are active and growing, how can I prevent this kind of pain?

Watch for and prevent overuse. This may sound difficult, but a little “schedule management” can go a long way! It’s important to view your child’s aggregate schedule when making decisions about physical activities. High-activity periods such as training camps, tryouts, and weekend competitions place serious strain on growing feet, leaving heels vulnerable to overuse and pain when paired with other day-to-day activities. Make simple, small changes to adjust for these busy times, by building in down-time where kids are off their feet.  

How can we stop the pain? My child says it’s unbearable.   

Since the pain stems from an on-going growth process, rest and time will always help, and this pain will typically resolve on its own. However, there are a few tools to minimize pain so you don’t have to sideline your young athlete: 

  • Ice. Ice will sooth heels after activity and help to reduce inflammation. It’s also a good routine to get kids off their feet after an intense workout.
  • Heel Cups. Flexible heel cups, such as Tuli’s, slip into any athletic shoe and cushion and elevate the heel bone, taking pressure off the Achilles tendon and improving flexibility.   
  • TLC. That’s right, caring for growing feet is one of the most important tools at any athletes disposal. Keeping kids’ feet clean, well rested and well supported is essential. By minimizing bare feet, flip flops, and other flimsy footwear when kids are growing so rapidly, you can help (although you might not be the most popular person in your home). 

Our children’s feet are indeed busy. Slowing them down is difficult, but looking out for them just may keep those little dogs from barking.

Are you considering joint replacement?

Are you considering joint replacement? Get the facts. Find a fit. Plan Ahead. Three tips to keep seasonal changes from slowing you down.

It’s officially fall in the Mile High City, and along with cooler weather and shorter days, there will soon be another sure sign of fall in doctors’ offices across the country: full schedules and busier waiting rooms.

As consumers meet their annual healthcare deductibles, many revisit procedures they have put off during the active summer months to ‘cash in’ on their annual investment in deductible payments. If you are one of the millions that will contemplate a joint replacement procedure this fall, be prepared! Plan ahead and take these three steps:

  1. Make an informed decision. Is joint replacement right for you? Take our quiz as a first step to learn more. Click this link – http://on.fb.me/1fD5uZc
  2. Book a consultation. All reputable specialists insist on at least one consultative appointment before scheduling any kind of surgery. This is your opportunity to get familiar with your surgeon, discuss your personal situation, and find the best treatment and recovery plan for you. Doctors’ schedules fill up fast this time of year, so book an appointment now if you want to consider treatment options before year’s end.
  3. Get ahead of the change. If you have insurance, you don’t have to wait until next year to get the treatment or consultation you need now. Next week, Colorado’s new health insurance marketplace will begin to offer plans to consumers and small businesses for coverage that takes effect in January, 2014. While no one knows for sure how the new exchange marketplace will impact the demand for and deliver of healthcare services, one thing’s for sure: physicians, support staff and patients will all be spending extra time navigating the new laws, which will likely complicate scheduling and staff availability. Get ahead of the change by planning for your care now.

Maintaining good hydration on hot days.

Fall high school sports seasons are in full swing, but it still feels like summer in Colorado. It’s a good time for parents and kids alike to think about what they put in their bodies before, during and after a workout. Dehydration can lead to fatigue, reduced concentration (and performance), and cramping.

There are myriad sports, energy and “water” drinks on the market today – and most are packed  with sugar or artificial sweetener, additives and other junk. So what’s the best way to stay healthfully hydrated on hot days? Women’s Health Magazine recently shared the best drinks for hydration, performance, recovery, among others – and we agree!

Best Drink for Hydration: Coconut Water. With natural electrolytes and few calories, 100% coconut water delivers.

Best Drink for Enhanced Performance: Coffee. Tests have shown that athletes can go longer and stronger with a moderate intake of caffeine.

Best Drink for Recovery: Low Fat Chocolate Milk. Surprised? Many people are. But chocolate milk’s combination of carbs and protein has been proven to support post-work out recovery more than traditional sports drinks.