The increased popularity of soccer has, not surprisingly, been accompanied by an increase in foot and leg related injuries. For players, parents, and coaches it is important to understand what role soccer boot construction plays in both causing and preventing injury.
To accommodate the studies the soccer boot is constructed with a flat footbed. This results in a lack of arch support, allowing for excessive foot pronation and little or no cushioning to absorb shock at heel strike. Excessive foot pronation, in addition to repetitive shock, can lead to injuries such as heel pain, severs disease, Achilles tendonitis, plantar fasciitis and shin splints.
Most soccer boots are constructed without a midsole. The midsole of running shoes is the foam cushioning material between the upper and the tread and it provides the shoe with shock absorption and also elevates the heel. It is now recognized that this lack of midsole and lack of heel elevation in soccer boots can contribute to hamstring and Achilles tendon injuries commonly seen in soccer players.
Recognizing that the traditional low profile boot design was contributing to the development of injuries, some soccer boot companies now design soccer boots incorporating a running shoe-like wedged midsole. Recent research by an Australian podiatrist, has found that this new wedge midsole design places less stress and strain on muscles in the legs when compared to the traditional boot design. It was determined that providing a 10mm heel raise changed the angle of the hip, knee and ankle. The combination of improved shock absorption and the 10mm heel raise gradient, helps to prevent injury and improve performance.
Foot pain in children can be preceded by seeking advice from a Podiatrist.
Other aspects to consider are growing pains in children:
Growing Pains is the name given to a painful, as yet little understated condition affecting one in three children during pre-school and early primary school years.
Children affected by growing pains will typically experience pains in their legs which:
-occur late in the day or at night and may wake the child from sleep;
-occup in the muscles, not in the joints;
-affect both legs, not one;
-are felt in the front of the thighs, the calf area or behind the knee;
-are gone by morning, causing no limping or difficulties while walking or running;
-appear to be linked with increased activity levels.
Little is known about what causes growing pains, but most experts believe there is little connection between growth pains and growth spurts. More likely causes are:
-por posture – standing or walking abnormally puts greater than usual strain on the supporting muscles of the body, with the result that children who feet roll in (are very flat or pronated) may have more trouble with growing fingers than others;
-muscular tiredness – strenuous activity throughout the day, resulting in muscle fatigue in the legs, may contribute to the pain in some children;
-poor flexibility – during periods of rapid growth the child's muscles and tendons may become tight, restricting available motion in the joints of the legs, feet and ankles.
If your child appears to be suffering from growing pains, it is important you make sure there is no other cause for pain. Serious health problems that can cause pains in the legs include rheumatoid arthritis, infections like osteomyelitis, a bone infection, and tumors. You should always seek medical advice if your child:
-has severe pain that only affects one leg, or is still present during the day;
-is unwell or has a fever or loss of appetite;
-has waving, redness or tenderness around a joint, or is limping.
If no other cause is present, it is important you take your child to a podiatrist, who will check his or her foot post, gait and school shoes. If your child has flat or pronounced feet, this may contribute to the development and frequency of growing pains.