Children with Heel Pain

This is a condition that is quite often misdiagnosed as growing pains this generally affects boys more  than it may affects girls, especially between the ages of 9 and 15.

This is a common disease in children that play the following sports:

  • Soccer
  • Football
  • Basketball
  • Hockey

However it is not limited just to these sports, nor is it simply a pre-season type condition related to fitness.

Sever’s Disease is common and although it does not sound good  there is no need to panic as it is not something you can catch or incurable.  Children have a growth plate in the heel bone, which at puberty becomes solid and forms part of the heel, prior to puberty this can cause pain  especially if the child’s foot rolls inwards or outwards too much, this can cause increased stress on this growth plate and therefore causes pain.

This heel pain can become quite painful  the most obvious signs, for parents and coaches to look for include the following:

* After participating in sport the child may be limping

* During training the child may complain of pain in the feet and heels

* The child not being able to perform to their full potential whilst playing sport

If the pain continues, your child may not want to play sport at all due to the frustration and the pain.

Parents are often told the heel pains are simply growing pains and they will grow out of it without treatment, but this is not good advice, even though technically true. However, why would you let a child suffer in pain for weeks, months and in some cases years, when it can easily be resolved?

In most cases there will be an underlying biomechanical foot problem, or muscular tightness, that requires attention. Sever’s Disease does not seem to occur in normal functioning feet.

A Podiatrist can easily evaluate your child’s feet, to identify if a problem exists.  Through testing the muscular flexibility.  If there is a problem, a treatment plan can be create to address the issue. At the initial treatment to control movement or to support the area we may use temporary padding and strapping and depending on how successful the  treatment is, a long-term treatment plan will be arranged. This long-term treatment plan may or may not involve heel raises, foot supports, muscle strengthening and or stretching.

Within days of treatment the podiatrists at Croydon Sports Injury and Spinal Clinic have most of the children  back playing sport, almost pain free.  So please don’t make children suffer when there is treatment available to relieve their pain and improve their quality of life.