Pertinent Pearls On Treating Overuse Injuries In Endurance Athletes
- Volume 20 - Issue 4 - April 2007
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The successful treatment of many endurance athletes requires a coordinated or collaborative approach involving the skills of medical and non-medical specialties. Building a treatment strategy, as with any medical decision, begins with a detailed history, physical examination and laboratory/imaging results. Rarely have I found a circumstance in which I am the sole provider. More importantly, improvement occurs through the integrated efforts of a range of medical and non-medical specialists. Engaging the expertise of non-medical specialists, such as tech shop staff, coaches and trainers, when necessary, benefits both the athlete and the sports medicine podiatrist.
The popularity of endurance events is growing. Accordingly, there will be an increasing demand for medical specialists capable of understanding the motivations and the sports, in addition to being able to treat overuse injuries. Similar to the running boom of decades past, podiatric medicine will find itself ideally situated to respond to the complex needs of these new age athletes. Podiatrists provide a unique perspective in that they understand the complex interactions of lower extremity biomechanics, sport and injury. Our ability to respond to the complexities of overuse injuries through the development of a treatment plan that integrates our own expertise with that of other medical and non-medical specialists will endear podiatric medicine with the endurance athlete community.
However, only by expanding our experiences via educational opportunities and the pursuit of randomized investigational/experimental research can we maintain our cornerstone role in caring for endurance sports athletes. Will podiatric medicine be capable of continuing to meet the needs of this unique and challenging athletic population?
Dr. Herring is a Fellow of the American College of Foot and Ankle Orthopedics and Primary Podiatric Medicine, and the American Academy of Podiatric Sports Medicine. He is a team podiatrist for several college and professional teams, and has a private practice in Spokane, Wash.
Dr. Caselli (left) is a staff podiatrist at the VA Hudson Valley Health Care System in Montrose, N.Y. He is also an Adjunct Professor at the New York College of Podiatric Medicine and a Fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine.
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