Does your child complain of having heel pain when he/she is playing? That it gets worse with activity and goes away at rest? It seem to have started without any injuries?
Heel pain in children ages 8-14 may be suffering from “growing pain.” There are other names for this such as Sever’s disease or calcaneal apophysitis. This is inflammation of the heel bone (calcaneus) along the area that is still growing (growth plates), which is on the back side of the heel. This can be seen on x-ray as a thin sliver of bone that appears separated from the bigger bone. Over time, these bones will unite.
The good news is, kids will outgrow these symptoms and home remedies are simple. Rest, gentle daily stretching, and Tylenol may be all that they need. The bad news is telling your kid to slow down or stop activities until the inflammation goes away. This could range from several days, weeks or months. By age 14, the growth plates are closed, meaning the bone doesn’t get any bigger and so the inflammation will eventually stop. However, this is not the type of pain to push through, because doing so may cause more injuries.
If you child is having heel pain that persists, there may be a bigger underlying issue which we can help with. We’ll perform a biomechanical analysis of your child’s foot type and prescribe medical grade orthotics, if needed. These orthotics, or inserts, are very different from the kinds you find in the store. They are more durable and are prescribed by a doctor.
If you’d like to make an appointment to see and foot and ankle specialist for your child, we invite you to call 831-288-3400. You can also use our contact form to reach us after hours.