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Sports and heel pain

Sports and heel pain

During the winter season, children do most of their sports indoors in sports halls. To prevent injuries during indoor sports, there are a few issues that parents and coaches should look out for.

Intensity increases the risk of overload

Most children doing sports, weather indoor or outdoor, go through transition periods, when the level of training is intensified.During such periods, it´s important to ensure that the children get plenty of time to recover between training sessions.

Moreover, coaches, parents and children should discuss whether participation in every training session and/or match is strictly necessary. Matches can be physically demanding; and, in the heat of the action, the child (or coach) may fail to notice signals from the body that suggest an injury is underway.

Indoor football is hard on the feet

During the winter season, a football pitch can get very hard if the ground is frozen. Playing on a frozen pitch exerts extra strain on the child’s feet – especially when the game calls for sprinting, jumping and rapid change of direction.

Outdoor training takes place on pitches made of artificial material as well. These artificial surfaces may seem soft, but they actually put more strain on the child’s muscles and bones compared to pitches made of grass.

When the indoor season starts, it’s important that the team continues to play outdoors – minimum once a week – in addition to their indoor training.

The right footwear for indoor sport

Football played indoors involves more sprinting and rapid change of direction, simply because the pitch is smaller. Moreover, the floor is usually hard and fairly inflexible when it comes to absorbing impact. So, when the indoor season starts, the child’s body has to get used to the harder surface and a different way of playing. This calls for special footwear that is lightweight, flexible and has good grip.

Sports such as handball and badminton are high-impact sports in the sense that they involve jumping, rapid change direction, and, in the case of handball, lots of sprinting – all of which put extra strain on the child’s feet.

In badminton, landing on the heels is frequent, which is why shock-absorbing footwear designed for this particular sport is essential to avoid excessive strain on the feet.

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Check the child’s response to training

It’s important that parents and coaches regularly assess how the child’s body responds to training – both when it comes to the frequency of sessions and the load involved in each. They also need to keep an eye on the child’s energy level and sudden or recurring pains. If the child gets more tired than usual or starts to complain about pain, it’s time to check whether the amount of training needs to be adjusted. If the child complains about pain at the back of the foot, it’s a good idea to test for Sever’s disease.