Soccer season is in full swing and it is important for parent and coaches to think twice before letting a young, injured player "play through" foot and ankle pain.
In the immature athlete starting and stepping and moving side-to-side on cleats (that are no more than moccasins with spikes) is a foot and ankle injury waiting to happen. The young athlete who has a lingering, nagging heel pain may have a stress fracture. Stress fractures do not always show up on an initial x-ray, so parents and coaches may not have been aware of it. When playing with pain, they can't give their team 100 percent and it makes the injury worse. Rest, physical therapy, and in some cases, immobilization is needed to relieve the inflammation.