This weekend was the beginning of another recreational soccer season for the Grapevine Southlake Soccer Association. Unfortunately it was rained out! But that didn't keep my phone from ringing. Moms want to know why their kids feet hurt after only a few weeks of practice. Why does my child run funny? My daughter asked me if anyone ran normally after listening to me talk to lots of other moms. Good question!
Let's take a closer look. Your heel swings from side to side as your foot moves. When the heel swings correctly, your foot can flatten and regain its arch as you walk. (normal pronation with resupination) But if your heel swings too much, your foot may flatten more than it should. (overpronation) Over time, such excess movement causes many foot problems. And yes, some people do walk normally, but not many.
When the heel hits the ground, its outer edge touches first. Soft tissues (muscles, tendons and ligaments) relax. Your foot is able to flatten, adapt to uneven surfaces, and absorb the shock of touchdown. During midstance, your heel is below the anklebone, and the front and back of your foot are aligned. Your foot easily bears your weight. As the heel lifts, it swings slightly to the inside. Muscles, tendons, and ligaments tighten. Your foot regains its arch, allowing your toes to push your weight off the ground.
Too Much Movement Causes Strain!
When your foot flattens too much (overpronation), some bones are forced to support too much weight. The muscles pull harder on these areas, making it more difficult for tendons and ligaments to hold bones and joints in place. Over time, you may develop swelling or pain on the bottom of your foot or near the heel. When your foot flattens too much, the ankle and heel do not align during midstance. The foot strains under your body's weight. This aggrevates the growth plates and makes kids have foot pain.
Abnormal biomechanics causes overpronation. This is easily controlled with a custom orthotic. That is why most biomechanical foot pain and deformities are treated conservatively with custom orthotics. Change the biomechanics, decrease the stress and take care of the pain from the strain.
Custom orthotics with vigorous stretching can make your child walk as close to normally as possible. Some kids still run a little funny due to the growth process, but at least when aligned they don't strain and won't complain of pain!
So soccer moms, if your child runs funny and is complaining of foot, ankle, knee, leg or back pain....it definately can be their feet.
Let's check them out before the season becomes a wash!
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