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We know you want your children to be healthy and happy. Of course, child heel pain can keep both of those from happening.
Naturally, any pain is a health concern. On top of that, though, this problem causes many kids to stop playing favorite sports and participating in activities they normally enjoy.
Fortunately, we have some good news:
While child heel pain is common – even our own Dr. Leibovitz was affected when he was young – it’s also highly treatable.
And, even better, most cases do NOT require surgery!
Feel free to keep reading to learn more about this problem and the conservative treatment options we offer. Or, if you’re ready to schedule an appointment for your son or daughter now, please call our office at (317) 545-0505 or contact us online.
Why does your child’s heel hurt?
If your son or daughter has heel pain, the most likely culprit is a condition known as Sever’s disease (or calcaneal apophysitis, if you want to be technical).
As you’ll see, this isn’t actually a disease. It’s more a “growing pain” that keeps your child from staying active and enjoying favorite sports.
Although the same foot mechanics and Achilles tendon tightness are present in both adult and adolescent heel pain, the difference for kids relates to their bone growth center (apophysis) at the back of the heel (calcaneus).
In this case, the core issue is related to differences in growth rates.
Specifically, when the apophysis reaches physical maturity earlier than the Achilles tendon, it causes tightness and tugging on the heel bone.
The main problem here is similar to what adults can experience, even if a grownup’s tightness and tugging has a different root cause.
And this will produce different symptoms for youngsters.
How can you recognize child heel pain?
Not all children are forthcoming when it comes to letting you know about pain and health issues. And that means it’s important for you to know how to tell if your child’s heel hurts.
This juvenile version of plantar fasciitis occurs in girls and boys below the age of 14.
It’s marked by progressing pain around the outer, back part of the heel. The area will be tender at the beginning – as well as the end of – physical activity. There is typically mild-to-moderate improvement in comfort during the course of exercise.
An affected child will have extraordinary discomfort when the back of the heel is bumped on a hard surface.
Symptoms generally present toward the end of a sports season or when going directly from one sport to another (such as soccer to basketball) with little rest or recovery time.