Soccer Season and Your Child’s Feet

When kids head back to school, they also return to school sports, such as soccer. While soccer has less contact than football, children can still injure their feet.

How do you know when your child’s soccer injuries are minor or serious, and what can you do about them? Keep reading!

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Many young people love sports and are willing to play even with minor pain, but although they may appear strong, kids are still developing in their teen years.

One of the most common causes of foot pain and injuries in youth soccer is poor-fitting soccer cleats, which is a thin shoe with spikes and very little ankle support. When shopping for cleats for your child, avoid hand-me-down or used cleats. As your child grows, replace their cleats in order to avoid shoe-related injuries.

Common injuries in youth soccer range from minor to serious, here are a few that you should know about.

Stress fractures may appear as a nagging pain, often with swelling, but no bruising. If your child continues to play and take part in activities despite ongoing pain, the fracture may worsen. Treatment for stress fractures usually involves rest, and for younger children or those who are more active, a cast or splint may be needed.

Overuse injuries are usually tendonitis (Achilles tendon at the back of the heel) or plantar fasciitis (fibrous band stretching down the length of the foot). Overuse injuries typically occur gradually. Growth plates are “open” (the bone is still growing) until the ages of 13 to 16, and so continuing play through pain may worsen the injury.

Sprains often happen in soccer when a child suddenly turns or changes position, twisting their ankle in the process. Most people are familiar with the pain and swelling of a sprain, but a foot and ankle doctor should examine the injury to determine how severe it is.

Toe injuries are common because of improperly-fitting cleats and kicking the ball at the same time as another player, which can cause the large toe to “jam.” For some players, the result may simply be pain and swelling, but for others the result is a fracture of the large toe.

If you or your child have foot pain, do not let it go untreated or it could very well get worse. Get your foot looked at today so that tomorrow is pain-free.

Please call 626-447-2184 (Arcadia) or 818-408-2800 (San Fernando) to speak make an appointment with Dr. Alireza Khosroabadi about your foot and/or ankle needs.

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