Don’t Let Arch Pain Stop You from Playing
With the beginning of the school season comes the start of the sports where players dust off their cleats and jump into playing.
A common complaint and discomfort at the start of the season is feeling pain in their arches during and after games. Cleats tend to be pretty stiff and have little to no arch support meaning that as you begin a new season your arch may not yet be accustomed to the activity and stress of the sport. Playing on turf or wet fields can be aggravating especially to those who are prone to arch pain and those with both a high or low arch.
The arch pain is a result of stretching and inflammation of the plantar fascia that helps maintain your arch and absorb shock as you run down the field. The fascia runs from the heel to the ball of your foot and is a common area of pain in active individuals. Some common symptoms that may couple with the arch pain are the feeling of muscle tightness or weakness in your foot and calf, the inability to comfortably take off into a sprint, and pain in the morning after getting out of bed.
If you are suffering from arch pain there are some things you can do to help:
1) Ease into the season:
Gradually increase your level of activity in the first couple weeks of the season. This allows your body to adapt and build up tolerance to the stresses of the sport which in turn also helps to decrease risk of injury.
Icing your heel and arch after games helps minimize inflammation and pain.
Performing regular stretched for the bottom of your foot, calves, and hamstrings can help with the feeling of tension in your lower leg and ease the pain in your arch. Using a tennis ball or a frozen water bottle to “roll out” the bottom of your foot is another way to decrease pain and tightness.
4) Arch Support:
A cleat with good arch support or an insert can help to prevent the occurrence of arch pain by minimizing the stress on the muscles and tissue in your arch while you play.
If the pain persists or becomes severe, a referral to a medical professional for assessment, testing, treatment and further help may be warranted.
Burlington Orthotic Centre