If you play soccer you would know how much running is involved over the course of a season. Statistics released from the recent Soccer World Cup found that the average player would run over 11km per game! From a lower limb perspective, your feet, ankles and knees are placed under large amounts of stress for long periods of time resulting in both acute and chronic injuries of the lower limb, especially if you have flat or high arched feet.
Common Acute Foot and Ankle Injuries
Acute injuries to the feet, ankles and knees can be hard to avoid when playing Commoon sinarios which result in an injury include:
Ankle sprains are one of the most common injuries seen in many sports including soccer. If you have sustained a sprained ankle, strapping is highly recommended immediately to prevent any further damage to the ligaments that support your ankle. Many players wait too long after they’ve sustained their ankle injury before applying this important technique.
If you are unable to place weight on your foot or talk a few steps with the foot after you have sprained it this can be a sign of a fracture to part of the ankle. If the player is unable to put any weight on their foot, it’s important to come seek help from a podiatrist They will likely refer you for x-ray examination to check for breaks in the bones that make up the ankle joint.
Chronic Foot and Ankle Injuries
Chronic foot and ankle injuries are more subtle. They occur after excessive wear and tear, fatigue, poor training technique and unsuitable soccer boots. They may come on suddenly or gradually over time. The earlier these injuries are treated, the better the outcome for the player. Some common chronic injuries include plantar fasciitis (heel pain/spurs), achilles tendinopathy, sesamoiditis, shin splints and ITB syndrome.
Treatment and Examination of Soccer Related Foot Problems
If you are suffering from any soccer related foot, leg or knee pain, the sooner your treat the problem, the better the long term outcome and faster you will be able to go back on the field pain free. At Cooper and Lourie, we offer many treatment services including low level laser therapy and custom foot orthoses.
Katie Nilan is a podiatrist who is passionate about what she does. She has written for the Australian Women's Health Magazine & was awarded "Pride of professionalism and services to Community Award" by Sydney Rotary. She has represented Australia in 3 sports: swimming, triathlon & surf lifesaving.