Children try to jump, run, and play from the time they learn to walk. If your child regularly plays sports, such as basketball, they might often experience heel pain. Although heel pain is generally mild, it needs on-time diagnosis and treatment to prevent further complications.
Heel pain usually starts with tenderness at the back of the heel and causes slight pain while walking. This might gradually result in pain in the ankle and heel and interfere with your child’s day-to-day activities. It is more common in children who are involved in competitive sports.
Rest and medications are usually the treatment options for heel pain in children. If you notice your child limping or walking on their toes, it is best to take them to a doctor for diagnosis and treatment.
Here is some important information about some of the common causes and treatment options for heel pain in kids.
Causes Of Heel Pain In Children
Some of the most common causes of heel pain in children include conditions such as calcaneal apophysitis, Achilles tendonitis, plantar fasciitis, and fractures. Children develop these conditions due to overuse of the ankles while playing. Let us have a look at each condition in detail.
1. Calcaneal apophysitis (Sever’s Disease)
Also known as Sever’s disease, this is a condition characterized by pain in the heel’s growth plate (the apophysis). It is a self-limiting condition common in children aged eight to 15 years. However, it is also seen in children as young as six years.
Earlier, the condition was characterized by pain in the heel’s posterior and inferior regions in very active and overweight children. However, recent studies suggest that the pain is caused by the pull of the Achilles tendon on the apophysis during sports and running activities. Your doctor would conduct a physical examination and recommend an X-ray to diagnose the condition (1).
- Pain at the back of the heel
- Tenderness when the back of the foot is squeezed
- Slight warmth and tenderness
- Limping and walking on toes