Soccer season is probably one of the only times of the year where parents encourage their kids to kick something. Now that we’re nearing the end of summer (Goodbye hot dogs and hello pumpkin pie!), this competitive after-school sport, involving teams like the St. Johns, Carmichael, and Sierra Soccer Clubs, is coming up fast! That means Sever’s disease, or heel pain, in soccer players is also around the corner.
This condition involves inflammation and swelling on the heel’s growth plate, and is common among players who are 11 and 12 years old. The pain can get pretty severe, and it only gets worse as the child practices or plays on it more—it can even change the way your child walks.
When you begin treatment, please know that the worst heel pain may not subside for another three months. This unfortunately means that your child may have to sit out for the season. In the most severe cases, we will ask that he or she wear a cast for up to 12 weeks. It may seem outrageous and extravagant, but remember that it’s better if you treat the problem with a long-term recovery. If kids get back on the field too soon, the pain will come right back again. Better safe than sorry, folks.
Old-fashioned rest, ice, and a stopping of all activities that cause pain will help rehabilitate even the worst cases of heel pain in soccer players. You can ask Dr. Brian McDowell or Dr. Gavin P. Ripp for suggestions of other suitable activities for a child that has severe heel pain, but still wants to stay active. We may also recommend oral anti-inflammatory pain relievers, stretching and strengthening exercises, or the use of a compression stocking to speed the healing process.
To prevent this pain, buy a good shoe for your child. This doesn’t mean that it has to be expensive—all you need is something that fits and that has plenty of cushion in the heel. Soccer cleats offer a lot of flexibility on the field, but some of the shoes—even the expensive ones—offer hardly any shock absorption, which can be hard on the feet.
We can offer a lot more advice on how to handle Sever’s disease in soccer players if you call our office in Carmichael, CA, at (916) 961-3434. We’re also on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest!
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