Multisports Magazine

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Darren Gaffney


Gold Coast Foot Centres

AFL Pre Season

Start of the AFL season! Things to consider…

With the start of the AFL football season upon us, here are some things that we should be considering in regards to foot health.

The right shoes

An imperative part of both pre-season and during the season is the right shoe.

Pre-season: Through-out this part of the year, players generally complete a larger amount of running compared to during the season. For this reason, we would recommend players wearing running shoes, rather than football boots, particularly when doing running and fitness based activities. In combination with wearing running shoes, there is also some benefit to having 2 different pairs of runners. This mixes up loading patterns and encourages longevity of your shoes which can potentially reduce your risk of injury. A good way to do this is to have a pair for shorter interval runs, and a pair for longer runs. Certain types of shoes will be better than others for these activities, if you have any queries about correct footwear please discuss with your Gold Coast Foot Centres podiatry team.

In-season: During the season your most prominent shoe will be your football boot. Choosing the right football boot can be determined by many factors.  These might include the shape of your foot, previous injuries, individual preference, playing position, whether you have orthotics or not and many other factors. Once again, depending on the amount you might be playing, having 2 different pairs can sometimes be beneficial, not only for injury reduction, but also to be prepared for differing conditions ie. Wet weather boots vs dry weather.   

Things to consider when buying football boots:
-              Always bring the socks you will be wearing during the game to try on
-              Consider whether you prefer moulded studs, blades and or screws, and which type and configuration will suit your position best.                       
-              Comfort, fit and function is more important than aesthetics and brands
-              Have you boots professionally fitted where possible and consult your Gold Coast Foot Centres podiatry team if your not sure.

Overuse injuries

There are a myriad of overuse injuries which can occur during the football season. Some of the more common overuse conditions treated at The Gold Coast Foot Centres include:
-              Medial Tibial Stress syndrome (Shin splints: pain around the area of the inside of the shin)
-              Severs (heel and Achilles pain in children)
-              Achilles pain
-              Sesamoid pain (pain under the big toe joint)
-              Plantar fasciitis (heel pain)

Other overuse injuries which you may experience include patellar femoral pain, patellar tendinitis (knee pain) and Iliotibial band syndrome (pain around the outside of your knee and upper leg).

Skin and nail conditions

Skin and nail conditions of the feet can be quite common and uncomfortable. Generally caused by the sudden initiation of activity, or the introduction of tight shoes and potentially wet environments, these are some of the common problems you may see:
-              Callous and corns (hard thick skin on the foot which can sometimes cause pain)
-              Ingrown toenails
-              Tinea (itchy and peeling skin between and toes and on the bottom of the foot)
-              Blisters

Prevention of these conditions can be done through good foot hygiene, changing out of wet socks as soon as possible, wearing well-fitting shoes and keeping nails properly trimmed.


If you find you are having any of the problems mentioned above, please arrange an appointment with one of our podiatrists, Ben Harcourt, Darren Gaffney or Nelson Pollard at The Gold Coast Foot Centres .

Nelson Pollard

Gold Coast Foot Centres

Sever's Disease or Calcaneal Apophysitis

Sever’s Disease

Also called calcaneal apophysitis, Sever’s is a traction apophysitis caused by excessive and repeated traction force from the Achilles on the calcaneus (heel bone). The calcaneus does not reach full maturity until around 12-13 years of age, and for this reason we most commonly see Sever’s in children from the ages of 7 to 14. This condition is also more commonly seen in boys.


The underlying source of this condition is tensile force on the insertion of the Achilles on the calcaneus. This can be exacerbated by a number of things:

  • Rapid growth of the tibia and fibula during growth spurts placing large force on the insertion

  • Tight calf muscles

  • Activities that involve repetitive running, jumping, hopping etc. For example most football codes, basketball, running and gymnastics

  • Shoes with tight heel counters

  • Foot and lower limb mechanics

Signs and Symptoms

  • Pain and tenderness around the posterior and plantar aspect of the heel, which is generally worse after activity or upon wearing shoes with a tight heel counter

  • There may be some swelling in the area

  • A limp or toe walking may be present


  • Rest from aggravating activity

  • PRICE (pain control, rest, ice, compression and elevation)

  • Stretching program

  • Massage

  • Padding, strapping and heel raises

  • Optimisation of foot mechanics

  • If symptoms are persistent please contact one of our podiatrists for a specific treatment plan



Nelson Pollard


Gold Coast Foot Centres