The high endurance and repetitive nature of soccer can lead to an extensive list of injuries. Specifically, the foot accounts for up to 28% of soccer related injuries. A common foot injury in soccer is calcaneal apophysitis (Sever’s Disease). Calcaneal apophysitis can more simply be described as heal pain. Youth soccer players, ages 8-14, may be more prone to this injury due to currently developing bone. Several contributing factors can put stress on the calcaneus (heal) bone leading to inflammation. Inflammation in this area can make it very painful to run, jump or even walk.
There are several ways to prevent calcaneal apophysitis. One of the easiest preventative measures is to properly stretch the calf muscles prior to and after physical activity. Since calf muscles attach to at the heal stretching them can reduce the upward tension placed on the bone. Just as important, proper fitting footwear can reduce stress in this area. Footwear that supplies the feet with adequate arch support and heal cushion can also help prevent calcaneal apophysitis. This injury can be very painful and sideline a player for weeks, even months. A few simple stretches and proper footwear can help keep your feet happy.
About the author;
Adam Ligon is a Trimester one student at Logan College of Chiropractic. He received a degree in Nutrition and Fitness from the University of Missouri.
Pediatrics. 2000 Mar. Revised 2010 Feb;105(3 Pt 1):659-61. Injuries in youth soccer: a subject review. American Academy of Pediatrics. Committee on Sports Medicine and Fitness.