Help and advice for football injuries.

Sport is very important for our children. It helps their physical development, their ability to work collaboratively with others, and improves concentration, assisting schoolwork performance. In girls, the majority of their lifetime bone stock is laid down by the age of 12, so lots of weight early bearing sport is an investment against osteoporosis in later life.

Balance is also reduced at this age, leading to an increased likelihood of twisted ankles. To both prevent and treat this, encourage your child to practice standing on one leg. Make a game of it – how many throws and catches can you each do while standing on one leg? Can you close your eyes and not fall over? (this is also good for parents to do!)

Sports injuries in children can be very different to those sustained by adults in similar situations. Physiologically, children are not mini adults – they are quite different (as anyone who lives with a child will tell you!).

If your child has injured themselves and there is immediate swelling of a joint, hotness, redness or any reluctance to put weight on the part, see a doctor and consider an Xray.


Muscles can be overstretched causing tearing of muscle fibres either in the mid part of the muscle (belly) or at the insertion into the bone (tendon). In children during their peak growth, it is more likely that the bony attachment will be affected rather than the muscle itself, leading typically to inflammation and soreness at prominent bones, ie the hip, knee, heel, and around the pelvis. As children’s bones are growing rapidly, the muscles are unable to keep up and so become very tight; specific muscle stretching is very important on a daily basis.

or call our physios for more advice on 01483 267747


This may be affected from a sudden acceleration or from kicking the ball. The powerful thigh muscles that insert around the hip can cause inflammation at the bone or even pull a small part of the bone off (avulsion fracture), again more commonly seen in boys around ages 14-16.


This can be damaged if the leg is twisted, has a sudden change of direction, or from a direct blow or tackle to the outside of the leg. The knee may show signs of swelling, heat and redness as well as being painful.

The structures involved may be the cartilage/meniscus, ligaments or growth plates of the femur (thigh bone) and tibia (leg bone).

During growth spurts the bump on the front of the lower leg just below the knee cap can become painful and swollen, a condition known as Osgood Schlatter’s disease, which is usually aggravated by kicking a ball and jumping, and may require some time off sport to allow the problem to settle.


For example – twisting, falling or impact

Immediate pain with subsequent swelling and loss of movement.

Treat with ice, rest, compression and elevation of the part, aiming for full movement, a normal walking pattern and a gradual return to sport over 2-6 weeks depending on the severity of the injury.  Your physiotherapist can direct you on all aspects of your treatment and provide appropriate exercises to rehabilitate you.


For example – niggling heel or knee pain for more than a month with no known cause or injury.

Often related to the amount of training, growth spurt, footwear and terrain being played on and generally more complicated.

Treatment may require rest from the aggravating activities, correct assessment by your physiotherapist to establish any biomechanical causes, and a tailored treatment and stretching program as necessary.


If in doubt with children, never hesitate to take them to the GP or physio for an examination. Early diagnosis makes for the best recovery.