Sonya’s Health & Fitness: Foot pain that doesn’t seem to quit, when should I be worried?


Everyone has at some point in their life had a few aches and pains that come and go and most concern goes out the window.  Although there are those moments when aches and pains linger.  Probably one of the most common ailments I receive questions about relates to heel pain in young and older athletes.  This problem arises despite the sport or activity required of the athlete. My job often requires looking at an injury much like a detective sorts out a crime scene; for example you list all the signs and symptoms, compile an extensive history, and start piecing together all evidence which … [Read more...]

Sonya’s Health & Fitness: Need a pick me up? Energy drinks may not be the answer


Energy drinks have become a common thing to see in supermarkets and convenience stores. Its very common for parents to stop at a gas station and have their children run in and grab a quick drink before practice.  The problem occurs when you turn to the nutrition label on many of these so-called energy drinks.  Young athletes who are often allured by the graphics, colors, and fun names while many fail to pay attention to what they are placing in their bodies. As a health care professional that has worked closely with wide variety of athletes its surprises me the number of times I have had to … [Read more...]

Sonya’s Health & Fitness: How to make sure your athlete is ready – Tips on how to recover best?


No matter what sport your athlete is participating in there is always the battle of making sure they are ready to perform at their best.  The majority of sports at the younger levels have become so competitive that kids are playing in two or three day tournaments every other weekend and may not be taking the steps needed to make sure they are fully recovered for another day of games.  Often in these tournament style competitions time is never sufficient and the climate of the summer can often deplete athletes of valuable much needed resources.  The best thing parents and coaches can do is to … [Read more...]

Sonya’s Health & Fitness: Getting Stronger – When is a good time to start?


One of the questions I have commonly received a great deal as an athletic trainer is when is it safe to start strength training with young athletes?  A great starting point is to define what strength training actually is, which implies some sort of action by the body’s muscles exerting or resisting some force.   Strength training does not necessary mean going to the conventional gym and power lifting with large amounts of weight.  Strength training especially for younger athletes can involve pushups, body weight squats, lunges, or sit ups.   A safe age to start a strength training program can … [Read more...]

Sonya’s Health & Fitness: Anterior Cruciate Ligament tears – how to tackle such a common injury


There are certain injuries that will occur with athletes and seem to bring some familiarity to parents when they hear the diagnosis.  One such injury that seems to be more prevalent than most are Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) tears in our youth athletes.  It seems that more athletes have been dealing with this injury at a younger ages in middle school and very commonly in high school.  Although the majority of these ACL tears seem to be targeted towards young female athletes as compared to their male counterparts the problem is still too prevalent. The rise of such injuries seem to be … [Read more...]