top of page

Top 4 Injuries for Growing Soccer Players

Painful Injuries Common in Growing Athletes: A Guide for Soccer Parents

The information shared in this blog post has not been reviewed by a medical professional. Anyone experiencing any symptoms should seek professional medical attention and follow the advice of their medical provider over the advice suggested in this blog post. Also, the links in this post are from OSMD Sponsors and or are affiliate links where we would receive a small commission from your purchase.






As a parent of a young athlete, especially one involved in a high-impact sport like soccer, it's important to be aware of the common injuries that can affect growing bodies. Sudden injuries such as fractures, sprains and tears catch a lot of attention but there are growth and overuse injuries that your player might be experiencing right now without you knowing it. Four such injuries include Sever's Disease, Osgood-Schlatter Disease, Hip Avulsion, and Spondylolysis. These conditions can be particularly challenging for soccer players due to the physical demands of the sport. Understanding how they affect athletes, how they can be avoided, and their recovery processes is crucial for ensuring the well-being of your child.


1. Sever's Disease

This is a topic we have written about several times before in previous blog posts, Sever’s Disease is the name for the reason why your player who just grew 2 inches is complaining their feet (heels) hurt. I’ve seen Sever’s Disease so many times in my kids and others that I can look out onto a field of 11 year olds and pick out which ones are suffering. These Tuli’s Heel Braces with compression sleeves have been our family's go to remedy. I also recommend you invest in a good pair of soccer cleats, yes they will be pricey but with the price comes a better heel box with more cushion and support.  Soccer Village is an OSMD Insider who are locally owned with stores all around the state who could help you find the perfect pair of boots.


How It Affects Soccer Athletes:  

Sever's Disease, or calcaneal apophysitis, involves swelling and irritation of the growth plate in the heel. This condition often occurs in children aged 9 to 14 during growth spurts. The constant running and jumping in soccer exacerbate heel pain, making it difficult for young athletes to perform.


Prevention:

- Ensure proper footwear with adequate cushioning and support in the heel.

- Encourage regular stretching of the Achilles tendon.

- Monitor training intensity and avoid overuse.


Recovery: 

- Rest and reduce physical activity.

- Ice the heel for 15 minutes after activity.

- Administer ibuprofen for inflammation.

- Use heel cups or braces for additional support.

- Consult a doctor for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan.


2. Osgood-Schlatter Disease

Another injury that comes with growing, if your player had Sever’s Disease you can almost count on them having Osgood-Schlatter follow right behind. This is the knee pain that is right below the knee. Typically you can relieve the pain with a patella band like this one. 


Osgood-Schlatter Disease involves inflammation of the patellar tendon at the tibial tuberosity (the bony bHow It Affects Soccer Athletes:

ump on the shin). This condition typically affects adolescents experiencing growth spurts and can be aggravated by activities that involve running, jumping, and kicking.


Prevention: 

- Implement proper warm-up routines before training.

- Incorporate strengthening and flexibility exercises for the quadriceps and hamstrings.

- Ensure adequate rest between intense training sessions.


Recovery: 

- Limit activities that cause pain.

- Apply ice to the affected area.

- Use over-the-counter pain relievers.

- Consult a healthcare professional for tailored advice and potential use of a patellar strap.

- Perform recommended stretching and strengthening exercises.



3. Hip Avulsion

I’ve had the unfortunate experience of witnessing two different kids suffer this very painful injury. Both times they were tall strong boys who went in for a ball with their hip open when the impact snapped their leg abruptly. This injury is often instantly painful but can present over time as pain in the pelvis or hip that does not resolve. 


How It Affects Soccer Athletes:

Hip avulsion fractures occur when a small piece of bone attached to a tendon or ligament is pulled away from the main part of the bone. This injury is common in sports that involve sudden, explosive movements like sprinting and kicking, which are frequent in soccer.


Prevention:

- Emphasize proper warm-up and stretching routines.

- Strengthen hip and core muscles.

- Avoid sudden increases in training intensity.


Recovery:

- Rest and avoid weight-bearing activities.

- Apply ice to reduce swelling.

- Use crutches if necessary to offload the affected hip.

- Engage in physical therapy to restore strength and flexibility.

- Follow medical advice for a gradual return to activity.


4. Spondylolysis

This injury is my origin story.  When I was in 8th grade I suffered from Spondylolysis. It started as a pain in my lower back that I complained about for months. My coach told my mom I was faking and being lazy and manipulative. Turns out I had a stress fracture in my lower back which landed me 9 months in a back brace pits to hips.  I don’t think there are any doctors out there still using this treatment, but if your doctor suggests full time in a hard back brace my best advice is find some intensive physical therapy to strengthen the core and LISTEN TO YOUR DOCTORS.


How It Affects Soccer Athletes:

Spondylolysis is a stress fracture in one of the vertebrae, often occurring in the lower back. It is common among young athletes involved in sports that require repetitive hyperextension of the spine, such as soccer, where twisting and turning are frequent.


Prevention: 

- Focus on core strengthening exercises to support the spine.

- Maintain good posture during activities.

- Encourage cross-training to avoid repetitive stress on the spine.


Recovery:

- Rest and avoid activities that exacerbate pain.

- Apply ice to reduce pain and inflammation.

- Use a brace if recommended by a healthcare professional.

- Participate in physical therapy to strengthen supporting muscles.

- Gradually return to activities under medical supervision.


Understanding these common injuries and their implications is essential for parents and young athletes. Prevention through proper training, equipment, and attention to the body's signals is key. However, when injuries do occur, prompt and appropriate treatment ensures the best chance for a full recovery and a return to the sport they love. As always, consulting with healthcare professionals for tailored advice and treatment plans is crucial in managing these conditions effectively.


66 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

Comments


bottom of page