Avera Medical Minute ASH: Getting athletes back on their feet - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

Avera Medical Minute ASH: Getting athletes back on their feet

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Amanda Gravholt gets her ankle checked by Dr. Christy Wiarda Amanda Gravholt gets her ankle checked by Dr. Christy Wiarda
Whether it's running around the playground or playing sports, summer is the season of sprains and pains. So what do you do when your athlete gets injured? Seeing a foot specialist is the best way to get treatment and relief.

In the United States it's known as soccer. To the rest of the world it's football. No matter what name you prefer, it's a game that Amanda Gravholt absolutely loves to play. However, in the joy of the competition, there was also some pain.

“I was just having a lot of pain shooting out of my ankle and I knew right where it was so I knew something was up.” said Amanda.

For years Amanda has been playing soccer almost year round. The pain was just something she played through, until a few weeks ago.

“It just kind of continued to get worse so we decided to do some work with the trainer at the high school and then it just kind of progressed to needing to come to see the doctor.” said Rebecca Gravholt.

That's how Amanda got hooked up with podiatrist Dr. Christy Wiarda at Avera Medical Group Podiatry in Yankton. She also got the answer to her pain problem.

“Tendonitis is very common especially if you're active. Running, jumping, and a lot of sports moving side-to-side, you can irritate those tendons within the foot and ankle too so it's very common.” said Dr. Wiarda.

Lucky for Amanda, it's also an easy condition to start treating.

“Our first line of treatment was rest, ice, and immobilization also some Achilles tendon stretching exercises to kind of take some pressure off of certain areas of her foot.” said Dr. Wiarda.

With Dr. Wiarda's help, the tendons in Amanda's ankle have calmed down a bit but full recovery is a long road.  With the soccer season still going, treatment for Amanda's tendonitis is more along the lines of injury management. She wears an ankle brace and Dr. Wiarda has her parents help with daily exercises to battle flare ups.

“Yep she taught us how to do the massages and how to do the stretches and make sure we're staying on top of what Amanda should be doing and keeping her motivated to do that treatment too.” said Rebecca.

With Dr. Wiarda's guidance, Amanda has been able to take ownership of her injury and has gained a better understanding. Now she's able to take extra steps to prevention as well as self rehabilitation.

“She showed me three different stretches that really help. I will be really stiff in the morning but I will do my stretches and I feel back to normal right away.” said Amanda.

Resting the tendons are the best medicine but like any competitive athlete Amanda isn't going to pull herself from the game just yet.

“So hopefully at the end of her soccer season at least we will get her to heal better and get her back on the road to recovery a little quicker.” said Dr. Wiarda.

The summer months tend to be when these foot injuries spike. So if your feet are feeling a little less than 100 percent, whether you play on the local soccer pitch or on the world's grandest stage , do yourself a favor and get it checked out.

“If it affects their daily life, if they have pain in the morning and they can't run and they can't jump, obviously it's affecting them so they should get treatment as soon as possible.” said Dr. Wiarda.

Foot pain in young children is also a sign that their growth plate could be fractured. Getting them checked out sooner than later can help prevent more damage later on in life. For more information about foot problems just call 877-AT-AVERA.

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