Are you having the debate at your house? You know – the one about the focus of Olympic figure skating. What are the judges looking for? Grace and fluidity? Or is it all about athleticism? Sure, the official rules state that they’re looking at both. But wow, it sure seems like during the past several winter Olympic Games, the jumps and spins have gotten all the glory.
Figure skaters all over the world have paid a price for adding ever more triple and quadruple jumps to their routines. And that price, of course, is more injuries. So if the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympics have inspired your little one to become the next Nathan Chen or Alina Zagitova, take our advice: be savvy about preventing foot injuries.
Foot care for the skater
It’ll be awhile before your Olympic hopeful attempts a triple lutz, but before you even set foot into the nearest USA training center, understand what you can do from day one to prevent foot injuries on the ice:
- First and foremost, have your child’s feet evaluated by Dr. Chanda L. Day-Houts and Heidi M. Christie at Montgomery Foot Care Specialists. A thorough examination by our qualified podiatrists can tell you if your child’s got a pre-existing condition such as flatfoot or abnormal pronation. Once a problem is identified, our doctors can take steps to minimize how it affects your child’s ability to skate well and pain-free.
- Keep a close eye on the training schedule. About half of all figure skating injuries happen because of overtraining. Some common overuse injuries to look out for in skating are:
- Achilles tendinitis – inflammation of the large tendon at the back of the heel
- “Lace bite” – damage to the muscles or soft tissues on the top of the foot
- Bursitis – inflammation of bursae (fluid-filled sacs that cushion certain joints)
- Stress fractures – tiny cracks in a bone or bones
- Get the best skate fit. Consult a professional about the right skate for your child’s foot and follow their advice on the proper boot stiffness, lacing, blade sharpness, and blade placement.
Foot pain isn’t normal
On or off the ice, foot pain that lasts more than a day or two should be checked out by a qualified podiatrist. Contact us at our office in Montgomery, AL for an appointment and prompt treatment. Call us at (334) 396-3668 or visit us online.