Biggs recently suffered her first significant gymnastics foot injury. Unfortunately, injuries of varying severity often come with competitive sports. She was fortunate it was “only” tendinitis complicated by a sprain. Here is some of the story behind the injury, and tips and tricks we used while healing.
Leading up to the official injury, Biggs had been mentioning her foot was sore after stepping wrong on the stairs. Minor aches, pains, and injuries are pretty common in a household of gymnasts. Read about some of our favorite natural remedies here. This particular time, practice had been intense leading up to the biggest competition of the season.
The day of the injury, Biggs had done an extra lesson before her regular class to work through a minor self doubt issue. Her coach was well informed of her discomfort. He did an amazing job protecting her from further injury, while helping her through her struggle spot. During class however, a coach that didn’t know her well, pushed her to continue tumbling. She had fallen uncharacteristically on 3 skills prior, and had told the coach it hurt. Following direction to continue, ended with her not only worsening her foot, but falling on her head.
Learn to advocate
Thankfully, her head and neck were fine, however, the foot injury worsened from tendinitis to a sprain. The lesson I, and hopefully she is taking away from that injury, will be learning to advocate better for herself. I am working with both my girls to use their words to not only state a problem, but offer a solution when they know what they need. Learning the pertinent information to offer is tough for young athletes. In this case, a quick explanation of the private lesson completed, with the plan (per her coach) to take it easy for practice would have been appropriate. Read here about changes in the gymnastics culture towards healthier and safer training environments.
Give it time
The girls’ gym is excellent at allowing athletes to heal completely. Patience is required to slowly ease back into skills after medical clearance. Awareness in the gymnastics community is increasing regarding healthy practices. However, developing a thorough return plan with a health care professional well versed in athletics is important.
Staying sane during healing
Restricting activity to allow healing isn’t easy for anyone. Restricting activity for an active athlete is near impossible. Biggs did much better once we borrowed crutches from a friend when she needed to be non-weight bearing. She was able to get up and do many things around the house for herself while still resting.
Tools for healing
The doctor decried the tendinitis in Bigg’s foot as a classic overuse injury commonly seen in dancers and gymnasts. Rest was what she needed. The crutches kept her active enough to keep everyone sane. This brace helped remind her to keep her foot immobile. It was also helpful to stabilize her foot as she returned to practice.
Yoga swing to the rescue
Before long, Biggs was itching to be more active. I ordered this yoga swing to help. It will be a great addition to the household well beyond healing. The multilevel handles allow for a huge variety of strength and stretching possibilities. This will provide fun options for creative stretching for my girls that struggle with flexibility.
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The content in this post is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. It is merely opinion based on personal research and experience.