The popularity of soccer has increased dramatically in recent years and so have the number of injuries associated with it. At Benenati Foot & Ankle Care Centers, we know that soccer can take a toll on your lower extremities if you don’t take the proper precautions. Young athletes and their parents in particular need to be vigilant about spotting and seeking treatment for injuries to still-developing bones, muscles and tendons. Below are some of the more common problems associated with the sport and how to deal with them.
Fractures—acute fractures are usually dramatic when they occur—a fall, the sound of a bone breaking and intense pain send a player off the field and to the emergency room. However, stress fractures, hairline cracks in a bone, present in much more subtle ways and can be missed for a long time. The constant pounding of the feet as soccer players run up and down the field can cause stress fractures. The pain and swelling may be intermittent. It may or may not be accompanied by bruising. If your child has ongoing, nagging pain, even if it’s only when they’re playing, it’s important to make an appointment at our Macomb (586) 416-3668, St. Clair Shores (586) 779-6140 or Warren (586) 756-3338 office. Our podiatrists Dr. Anthony Benenati, Dr. Neil Shaw and Dr. Adam Thompson can examine them and diagnose the problem.
Achilles tendonitis—inflammation of this large tendon that runs from your calf to your heel along the back of the leg is another common overuse injury. A large amount of time spent running increases the risk of this disorder, especially if running stairs or hills is part of the training and conditioning for your team.
Toe Injuries—if your child plays on artificial turf, he or she has a greater chance of Turf Toe. This is a sprain of the big toe joint. When playing on artificial turf, it’s easy to jam the toe—your toe gets stuck on the surface and your body keeps moving. Collisions on the soccer field can also lead to and/or fractured toes. Signs of a sprain include pain, tenderness, bruising and swelling at any toe joint.
Heel Pain—children ages 8-15 are particularly prone to Sever’s disease—a condition that causes pain at the growth plate of the heel. Aggravation of the plantar fascia, a long band of tissue that runs along the bottom of the foot, also can result in heel pain.
Don’t allow young children to overdo it when it comes to sports. Be sure they are wearing proper footwear and get enough time off between practices and games. If you have questions or concerns about your child’s feet, contact us.