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Heel pain

Posted by soccer mom on 5/18/05 at 08:02 (175230)

I noticed recently I began getting heel pain after playing soccer. It disappeared after playing indoor soccer season and then when I started playing outdoor soccer, it came back.
I work out at the gym before playing my game. I am over 40 and in reasonable good shape.

Is there any kind of padding or wrap I can use to put inside my soccer shoes?

Re: Heel pain

Robert J. Sanfilippo, DC, CCSP, ART on 5/18/05 at 08:44 (175232)

As we get older we lose our overall flexibility. I'd first look at the flexibility of your legs, particularly the gastrocnemius complex and the hamstrings. If these muscle groups are tight they will cause a cascade of problems in the foot, more than likely PF. So try warming up before the game for a few minutes, then lightly stretch your hamstrings and calf muscles. To retain flexibility, throughout the day you should perform multiple light stretches.

As far as your shoes, make sure they fit you properly. If you are to put padding in one of your shoes please make sure you put it in both. In one shoe will cause you to be imbalanced and can have negative ramifications on your low back.

Re: Heel pain

Dr. David S. Wander on 5/19/05 at 18:33 (175335)

Being a podiatrist and soccer player, I believe that the majority of your heel pain can be contributed to your shoes. While you were playing indoor soccer you were either playing with an indoor shoe or a turf shoe. Both of these shoes have an EVA type cushioning below the shoe making a small wedge shaped cushioned, keeping your heel slightly elevated. Most, if not all outdoor shoes with cleats do not have this padding and are actually placing the heel in a negative position (the heel lower than the forefoot) causing significant stretching of the Achilles complex and plantar fascia, therefore causing pain. This is most often seen in younger players presenting with calcaneal apophysitis (Sever's Disease). My recommendation, in addition to stretching would be to purchase a pair of 'turf' shoes for most of your practices or games played on hard surfaces. Turf shoes are not very effective on long grass or soft wet fields but are great for hard winter fields and great for training during practice to reduce injury. My favorite 'turf' shoe is the Adidas Mundial Team Turf (about $90-100). I also like the Puma King All Around or the Kelme Master EVO Turf. These are all great training shoes and shoes that can be worn on short turf or hard fields and can drastically reduce heel pain and Achilles pain. I play soccer, coach soccer and treat a lot of soccer players and simply changing shoes is often all that is needed to keep players comfortable.