Heel Pain in Kids
With football season well underway and now in playoffs, the foot doctors at Family Foot & Ankle Centers are seeing an influx in children/teenagers suffering from heel pain. Even though there are a number of possible causes for this heel pain in children, the vast majority of these kids are suffering from a condition known as Sever’s Disease (Calcaneal Apophysitis). This is most commonly seen in kids from 8-15 years old that are active.
Sever’s Disease is inflammation of the growth plate in the heel. In Sever’s Disease it is the Achilles tendon that applies the force to the heel bone and irritates the growth plate. Symptoms include pain at the back/bottom of the heel bone near to the insertion of the Achilles tendon which can be present during or after playing a sport or being active. This causes the child to walk or run with a limp due to the pain. Right now, many of our local young people are playing football in non supportive cleats and without proper stretching technique. This helps cause Severs Disease and brings them into Family Foot & Ankle Centers.
Treatment of Sever’s Disease
The immediate goal of treatment is pain relief. Because symptoms generally worsen with activity, the main treatment for Sever’s disease is rest, which helps to relieve pressure on the heel bone, decreasing swelling and reducing pain. Corsicana Foot & Ankle recommends reducing or avoiding all activities that cause pain until symptoms are gone. The child is able to do things that do not put pressure on the heel, such as swimming and biking.
It is also very important to perform foot and leg exercises to stretch and strengthen the leg muscles and tendons as well as to apply ice to the heel for 20 minutes two or three times per day to help reduce swelling and pain. Take an over-the-counter medicine to reduce pain and swelling, such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, Nuprin). In some cases, Dr. Petty will place the child into orthotics or even use a walking cast to reduce pressure and allow for healing.
If your child suffers from heel pain or limps after activity, call Family Foot & Ankle Centers and we will get them pain free. We cater to cowards so call today.
The information provided in this article is not meant to be medical advice and is for educational purposes only. If you would like to learn more about topics related to podiatry, feel free to contact Family Foot & Ankle Centers by clicking here or calling 972-597-4132 to reach our Waxahachie office, 903-872-9910 to reach our Corsicana office, or 972-875-3668 to reach our Ennis office.