An event during this year’s cross-country running season reinforced the point of an article I wrote several years ago called “Injuries- Check Outside Activities.” (PE Update members can find it using the search bar).
The point of the article was, if your athletes sustain an injury – especially a chronic injury – make sure you know what their outside activities involve. And make sure you know what kind of shoes they use for casual-wear.
What reminded me of that article was one of my female runners who complained of foot pain back in the Fall. A week of non-impact training in the swimming pool didn’t help at all – the pain kept getting worse.
It wasn’t until we saw her mosey into practice one afternoon that we realized what was going on. She was wearing ballet-type slippers. Our campus is hilly with a 15-minute walk on paved streets between some classes. She was wearing the slippers because they were “comfy.”
After advising her to wear better shoes, there was still no improvement for a couple of days. We then thought to ask what she was wearing instead of the slippers. Flip flops. Not much better. She explained that they went with her nail polish (this was in late October in a northern climate). Needless to say, we advised another change in footwear.
A week after exchanging her ballet slippers and flip-flops for regular running shoes, her foot pain was gone. A miracle!!
This is a great example of an injury whose origin wasn’t sport-related. The moral is, be careful when you encounter one of your own athlete’s ailments – they may not have occurred on the playing field at all. And athletes often don’t realize how their non-sport activities can affect their injury status – as a result they may fail to mention such activities to you. You must often be very pointed in your questioning when trying to determine the cause of your athletes’ injuries.
Dick Moss, Editor,
[tags]sports,sport,injuries,sports medicine, coach,coaching