We have had the opportunity here at Fay Pedler Physiotherapy to sponsor the Chaddlewood Miners Warriors U10s football team.  With the team returning to training and matches following this long period of lockdown, the risk of muscle pain and injury are much higher. This post highlights the importance of stretching and conditioning in avoiding and managing two common conditions, Osgood Schlatter’s Disease & Severs Disease, that young footballers often experience that might show themselves, particularly over the next few months. 

Football….to play or not to play?

Unfortunately both Osgood Schlatters and Severs are common in young footballers. These young players are generally reluctant to stop playing, but at the same time complain of the pain to their parents on a daily basis, especially after football. The advice as highlighted above is that rest from football will reduce the pain and likely the length of time the symptoms continue. 

However, it is important to remember that by making the choice to continue to train, it is unlikely that any long term damage will be caused to the knee joint. Most commonly, a compromise between time playing and pain experienced must be found. Often having appropriate pain relief and taking it a little easy in training, particularly in sprints etc and playing only part of matches, substituting on/off in the game to allow rest, stretch and recovery time will allow our budding football stars to continue to play whilst experiencing these conditions.

Coaches…do your bit! I know training time is limited but ensuring the team are encouraged to do a few mins of stretching as a group at the end of the session is a great way of keeping up motivation for stretches and keeping the stretching relevant to football. Doing stretches as a team will help those who actually have symptoms whilst at the same time prevent injuries for the rest of the team.