Mum, my heel hurts! Kid's heel pain and Sever's Disease

'Mum, my heel hurts!!'

You might have heard this from your kids, particularly during sports season. Heel pain is one of the most common complaints we see in growing young athletes.

The most common cause of heel pain in children is Sever’s Disease. It is caused by the repetitive pulling of the Achilles tendon on the heel bone, usually in sports that involve running and jumping. Typically occurring in kids between the ages of 8 and 14 years old, this injury is self-limiting meaning that it heals itself with time. However, it can trouble kids for years which is distressing for both the child and parents. Podiatrists can help resolve this pain so don’t hesitate to get your child assessed.

Signs and Symptoms:

  • Pain in the back of one or both heels
  • Pain gets worse with running and jumping
  • Pain eases with rest
  • Tenderness when heel is squeezed

Causes:

  • Calf tightness (due to rapid bone growth)
  • Flat feet
  • Rapid growth spurts
  • Increased repetitive activity
  • Poor footwear

Diagnosis:

  • Podiatrists can diagnose Sever’s with a thorough history and physical examination

Treatment:

  • Supportive footwear
  • Orthotics to stabilise feet and reduce the pull of the Achilles on the heel
  • Cold packs after activity
  • Night splints for severe cases to reduce calf tightness

If your child is complaining of heel pain, see our team at Dan Everson Podiatry so they can continue to play the sport they love.