Does Your Child Have Heel Pain?

Difficulty playing sport? Pain or limping after activity? Not sure what to do, or who to see? Podiatrist’s can help!

Heel pain in growing children is a common injury which presents to my clinic. There can be a number of factors which cause heel pain so taking a thorough history is important. However today I am talking about the most common presentation of heel pain which I see in the clinic, diagnosed as Calcaneal Apophysitis or commonly known as Severs Disease.

Firstly what is Severs disease?

It sounds scary, but it is just the term for inflammation of the growth plate in the heel (in growing children.) This means the pain will go away once the bone has completed growth, but how can we manage that pain so your child can keep active?
Let’s start by listing the factors which can contribute to severs, then we can look at some treatment options to reduce this pain.

Factors that might increase your chance of developing Severs:
Playing a lot of sport.
Age range from 8 – 12yrs old.
Flat feet.
Soft flexible shoes.
Tight calf muscles.

Treatment options:

Re-assessing your sport commitments and consider having 2 or 3 rest days per week.
Stretching your calf muscles 2-3 times per day. This will reduce pulling on the heel bone.
Assessing your shoes and making sure they have good heel support and are strong through the arch of the shoe.
Adding heel lifts to your shoe to reduce loading through the heel.
Having a podiatrist check your child’s foot biomechanics to ensure they can continue to play safely and confidently.

– Grace Byrnes | Podiatrist