School is back in session, fall is just about upon us, and kids are regularly hitting the soccer field. If there is any sport that involves the feet more than others, it’s got to be soccer, where the object of the game is to use our feet almost exclusively to shuffle an object around and get it where we want it to go.
Soccer involves not only kicking a ball; it also forces kids to make quick stops and starts, speed up or slow down depending on what’s happening around them, and change directions quickly when a defender threatens to take the ball away.
Sign your kids up if they want to play – it’s great exercise and teaches them teamwork. But be aware of the importance of caring for the feet that take such a beating in soccer. Dr. Michael L. Rosenberg and Dr. Heidi M. Christie of Montgomery Foot Care Specialists treat athletes with soccer injuries all year round. Many of them are the result of overuse. Too much training, especially at the beginning of the season, can wreak havoc on feet that may have been doing a lot of lying around all summer.
Urge your child and their coach to ease into the season. Doing too much too soon can lead to injuries such as
- Achilles tendinitis – damage to the tendon that connects the heel and the calf.
- Plantar fasciitis – injury to the ligament that runs along the bottom of the foot.
- Sever’s disease – an inflammation of the heel’s growth plate, which isn’t fully formed in children until their mid- to late teens.
- Sprained ankles – they can be minor or severe, but they all require professional evaluation.
- Fractures – small cracks or complete breaks of the many bones in the foot.
Kids who enjoy playing soccer may be reluctant to admit to having, for example, heel pain. Counteract any tendency to play through the pain by watching your child carefully for any changes in the way they walk, examining their feet on occasion, and asking them if their feet hurt in any way. Don’t forget to supply them with the proper shoes for the sport, and replace them as soon as they’re worn out.
If you do find evidence of injury, we can’t stress enough how important it is to have Dr. Christie or Dr. Rosenberg check them out. Early treatment of foot problems is often the key to conquering them quickly. Make it your goal to call us at the first sign of foot troubles. Our number in Montgomery is (334) 396-3668. For your convenience, we also offer online appointment requests.