Whether they are part of an organised team, or just having some casual fun at the park, hearing your kids complain about foot pain is enough to worry you about whether it's a small thing or something worse. Achilles tendinitis is one problem that is common in the feet of active children, so what do you need to know about this issue to help better diagnose your kids?
What Is Achilles Tendinitis?
If you could see inside your child's foot, you would see a band that runs between the heel bone and the calf muscle. This is called the Achilles' tendon. The tendon moves around a lot while your child is playing soccer, and the impact of running around on hard ground can cause it to become overused. This overuse leads to a condition known as Achilles tendinitis, which is a tenderness of the Achilles' tendon.
If your child continues to be active when their Achilles' tendon is feeling fragile, then an increase and pain and stiffness are likely to follow.
How Do You Treat Achilles Tendinitis?
When it comes to the long-term care of the feet, a podiatrist should be your first source of information if you are concerned about your child's Achilles tendon. While a doctor can diagnose the problem and prescribe medication to fix the current issue, a podiatrist can take that one step further and give recommendations to stop the Achilles tendonitis from coming back again. There are several methods that can be used to treat this problem and they include:
- Putting heel lifts in your child's shoes. Heel lifts will mean your child is not walking with flat feet and thus reduces the amount of tendon stretch that has to take place between the heel and the calf muscle. The less the tendon has to stretch, the less it is working, and that gives it a chance to heal.
- Teaching your child how to properly stretch both the Achilles tendon and the calf muscle before they start to move about during the day. When these areas are warmed up and limber, they don't have to work so hard to keep up with your active child. A podiatrist will teach your child these stretches.
Your child may have to give up playing soccer for a short period of time while the tendinitis heals, but under the competent care of a podiatrist, this playing downtime should be short. Talk to a local podiatrist if your child is suffering from Achilles tendinitis or some other lower limb injury.