Prevention is always better than cure. Support your feet whenever you can, not only when playing but as much as possible. Toenails should always be kept to a good length, cut straight across and not too short – you would not want to miss an important game due to an ingrowing toenail. Good foot hygiene is essential to prevent a number of foot problems such as bacterial, fungal or viral infection. These can appear minor but can result in complications leading to pain and even missed training sessions and matches.
Footballers often neglect their flexibility which can be important in keeping a good posture, maintaining a wide range of motion at all joints and preventing injury. This is particularly important in those who are still growing. Teenagers can suffer from excruciating heel pain because they have extremely tight hamstrings or calves. Once this flexibility is increased with a stretching program, their posture improves and the problem is resolved. Sometimes prescribed insoles/orthoses are also needed to support the feet.
Having good balance and awareness is essential for football. This can be improved by increasing the communication between the feet and the nervous system (brain). This is referred to as ‘proprioception’ and can be improved with the use of orthoses for those with flat feet.