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5 Common Foot Injuries in Young Athletes and How to Prevent Them?

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Sports are an excellent way for young athletes to stay active, improve their physical and mental health, and learn valuable life skills like teamwork and perseverance. However, the risk of injury comes with rigorous training regimes and intense competition. 

This article will explore 5 common foot injuries in young athletes and offer tips on preventing them. So let's get started!


1: Plantar Fasciitis

When the plantar fascia, a tough band of tissue that extends from your heel to your toes, becomes inflamed or irritated, it results in plantar fasciitis. Improper footwear and poor biomechanics are the major contributing factors to this condition.


Early intervention is key in preventing further damage from plantar fasciitis in young athletes.

Prevention Strategies:



2: Achilles Tendonitis

Achilles tendonitis is a common foot injury experienced by young athletes.

It is caused by inflammation and discomfort in the Achilles tendon that connects the calf muscles to the heel bone.

This injury usually happens due to the following:


If an athlete experiences Achilles tendonitis, it's crucial to rest immediately and seek medical attention from a healthcare professional like a podiatrist.

Prevention Strategies:



3: Stress Fractures

During stress fractures, foot bones develop small cracks due to repetitive stress and exercises.

Athletes who increase their training intensity too quickly or participate in activities that place excessive pressure on the feet without proper rest are more susceptible to stress fractures.


Symptoms of a stress fracture include:

If left untreated, these tiny cracks can eventually lead to larger breaks that require surgery.

Prevention Strategies:



4: Shin Splints

Shin splints occur when the muscles and tendons around the tibia become overstressed due to overuse or repetitive impact. This can cause small tears in the tissue, leading to inflammation and pain.


Symptoms of shin splints include:

Remember that ignoring symptoms of shin splints can lead to more serious problems such as stress fractures - so listen to your body!

Prevention Strategies:



5: Sever's Disease

It is a common sports-related injury primarily affecting young athletes during their growth spurt years. This condition involves swelling of the growth plate in the heel bone.

Common causes of Sever's disease include tightness in calf muscles, stress on the Achilles tendon, and repetitive exercises.


These are the common symptoms of Sever's disease:

It's important for young athletes experiencing these symptoms to consult a healthcare professional for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment.

Prevention Strategies:


The Takeaway Message!

Injuries are, unfortunately, a common occurrence in sports. However, by taking the necessary precautions and being aware of the signs and symptoms of foot injuries, young athletes can help prevent them from occurring or worsening. It is important to remember that rest and proper treatment are crucial for healing any kind of injury.

So let's prioritize foot health in young athletes today!

  1. Petraglia, F., Ramazzina, I., & Costantino, C. (2017). Plantar fasciitis in athletes: diagnostic and treatment strategies. A systematic review. Muscles, ligaments and tendons journal, 7(1), 107–118.
  2. Mayer, S. W., Joyner, P. W., Almekinders, L. C., & Parekh, S. G. (2014). Stress fractures of the foot and ankle in athletes. Sports Health, 6(6), 481–491.
  3. Reid, I. R., & Bolland, M. J. (2020). Calcium and/or Vitamin D Supplementation for the Prevention of Fragility Fractures: Who Needs It? Nutrients, 12(4), 1011.
Meridian Podiatry

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