Common Soccer Podiatric Injuries

The Spring Soccer Season kicked off recently and kids around the world are out on the fields having a blast! However, that fun that comes along with scoring a goal or diving to block the other team from scoring can also come with a high injury risk. We see many kids and adults each Spring and Fall who come in with foot and ankle injuries from soccer. The following is a list of common foot and ankle injuries that come with playing the sport.


Achilles tendinitis

Did you know that your Achilles tendon is the strongest tendon in your body? It helps propel your foot off the ground for each step. Therefore, the intense physical activity that comes with soccer applies a near-constant pressure on your Achilles tendon. This repeated action can cause your tendon to become injured or even torn.

With Achilles tendinitis comes pain along the length of your tendon, redness, tenderness, and swelling. It usually responds to the RICE method treatment: rest, icing, compression, and elevation. If that method doesn’t work, your podiatrist might prescribe medication, suggest orthotics, or prescribe physical therapy.

Ankle sprains

Constant running, dribbling, and shooting can commonly lead to ankle sprains. An ankle sprain occurs when the ligaments in your ankle become overstretched or torn. Sprains result in swelling, pain, and bruising, and make it tough to apply your full weight to the injured foot.

If not properly treated, ankle sprains can become serious issues, so it’s important to check in with your podiatrist for a full assessment and treatment plan. Similar to tendinitis, treatment typically consists of rest, icing, compression, and elevation. In more serious cases, however, your podiatrist might decide on medication, orthotics, physical therapy, or some other treatment.


Plantar fasciitis

This condition can come about due to an overworked plantar fascia. Your plantar fascia is the band of tissues that runs along your foot from the heel to the toe. It helps cushion and support your arch, which the activities involved in soccer can easily wear down.

Plantar fasciitis brings about heel pain and lots of it! Sometimes it’s more severe in the morning or after long periods of rest. Certain stretches can help alleviate the pain, as well as custom orthotics and other podiatrist-recommended methods.


Shin splints

When your muscles, tendons, and tissues around your shin bones are overworked or become imbalanced, you can develop a painful condition called shin splints. Lifting your toes engages your shin area to work, which is a common move in soccer for running, kicking, and dribbling. Your podiatrist will likely recommend the RICE method, medication, message, or physical therapy to help alleviate the pain.

Need help?

You might notice that a common theme in these conditions was overworked muscles or tendons. In order to have a successful sports season and to avoid these injuries, it’s important to give your body time to rest, stretch properly, and make sure you have the proper footwear for soccer. Do you have questions about injury prevention? Do you need treatment for a sports injury? Don’t hesitate to contact our podiatrists at Kentucky/Indiana Foot and Ankle Specialists! Our dedicated team of board-certified podiatrists are experts in managing foot and ankle health in athletes and can help you have a successful season! Contact our offices in Louisville, Bardstown, Bowling Green, Elizabethtown, and New Albany to schedule an appointment today!

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