With football and soccer season well underway, it is important to remind parents and coaches to think twice before letting their young athlete play through pain. Foot and ankle injuries are easier to occur in the younger, skeletally immature athlete, especially when wearing cleats and completing starting, stopping, and side-to-side motions. This is particularly true in most soccer and football cleats that are not much more than moccasins with spikes. The constant running and changing of direction in both football and soccer place increased stress on the bones’ growth plates, as they are open until the ages of 14 to 16.
Stress fractures are a common injury in the young athlete who has a lingering, nagging heel pain. Stress fractures do not always show up on an initial x-ray, so parents and coaches may not have been told about such injuries. These injuries require rest, physical therapy, and sometimes immobilization to heal. When playing through a stress fracture, the athlete feels increased pain and continues to make the injury worse.
Other types of overuse injuries include Achilles Tendonitis and Plantar Fasciitis. Both of these injuries are felt as heel pain. Of course, ankle sprains or breaks also occur while playing these sports. Any injury to the foot and ankle should be taken seriously and evaluated promptly. This is especially true in children to prevent traumatic arthritis and other adulthood complications.
If you or someone you know is experiencing pain in their feet, the doctors at Coastal Podiatry Associates are available to help. The doctors have received extensive training in all aspects of the foot and can help you return to normal activity. To determine the best course of treatment contact any of our offices at 843-449-FOOT (3668) or visit our website at www.coastalpodiatry.com.