3 Part Youth Series – Common Foot Injuries in Young Athletes

Heel Pain in 7-18 Year Age Group

 

We all love when our children are active.

We know it leads to a healthier, happier life for them.

Individual and team sport is proven to have its benefits.

However occasionally the physical demand on an immature body leads to injury.

 

Part 1: Sever’s Condition –

 

A very common condition we deal on a daily basis is heel pain (Sever’s Condition) in young children and adolescents.

It feels like the whole heel is effected when weightbearing, however the pain is clearly at the back of the heel when you press on it.

While it is more common in young people who play sport, it does also occur frequently in youth who lead more sedentary lives.

So it is not isolated just to sporting groups.

As the body grows the strengthening muscles pull with increasing force on the bone’s growth centre, which then becomes inflamed.

The pain is usually at the back of the heel and will intensify with activity, be it sports such as football and netball, dancing, or even just walking to school.

The pain can be minor or intensify to a point where the person is barely able to put their foot to the ground.

This injury can last anywhere from a few weeks to many years, especially if left untreated.

While this is a very common injury, it’s important for the level of injury to be assessed and a treatment program to be tailored to the individual.

The treatments are conservative, pain free, and as such the young person (or their parent) should not be anxious about undergoing any treatment program related to this injury.

Generally some modification to activity, individualised stretching and strengthening, and addressing biomechanics (the way the person walks or runs) will have the pain reduce.

 

 

 

Part 2: Arch Pain

 

This is Part 2 of a 3 part series outlining some of the most common injuries effecting young people.

Let’s start by debunking one of the most common misconceptions people have when it comes to pain in the arch of the feet; that the person must have ‘flat feet.’

While this is sometimes true, and a flattened arch could be the cause of the pain in the arch, there are a large number of reasons why a young person might be suffering from pain in the arch area. Interestingly, pain in this area is common in people with very high arches as well.

The key to success with Arch pain in young people is to follow the following formula.

  1. Proper diagnosis
  2. Identify the underlying cause
  3. Treatment to address previous items 1 & 2.

1. A proper diagnosis is essential. Did you know that the common term Plantar Fasciitis (Heel and Arch pain) can refer to at least 6 different injuries?

Depending on which actual injury it is will change the ideal treatment and prognosis for the patient.

2. Once diagnosis is made, focus shifts to identifying the underlying cause. This could be anything from arch height and function, to walking and running technique, or how the hips are functioning and their effect on the feet.

3. Treatment will depend on the injury, how long it’s been active, the identified cause and the young person’s commitments to sport, school, lifestyle etc.

The key to a good result when treating younger people is to understand that they might find importance in different things. For example, a pair of shoes or an activity might not do their feet any good, however we can work around them in most cases.

Arch Pain can worsen so if your child is experiencing pain in this area consider making an appointment at the Lara Foot Clinic Ph. 5282 6499 or find us directly across from the Pedestrian crossing in Waverley Rd.

 

 

Heel Pain in Youth

Heel Pain in Youth

 

 

The pain can be minor or intensify to a point where the person is barely able to put their foot to the ground

 

 

 

 

Boy playing soccer

Did you know that the common term Plantar Fasciitis can refer to at least 6 different injuries?