The Common Causes of Heel Pain Children

Idaho High School Activities Association (IHSAA) fall sports are winding down. Soccer is already done, the volleyball and cross country championships are this weekend, and football only has a couple more weeks. There are many youths in our local communities who enjoy stay active, but heel pain in kids can make their favorite sports less enjoyable.

Heel pain is quite common across all demographics, including kids. There are two main reasons for this – heels endure tremendous amounts of force and there are several conditions that cause heel pain. Let’s take a look at some of the more common causes of heel pain in children:

  • Sever’s disease – Out of the various causes, this one is the most common. In spite of the name, this condition is not actually a disease. Rather, Sever’s develops when the heel bone (calcaneus) reaches physical maturity before your child’s Achilles tendon. The Achilles connects to the heel bone, so this can create excessive tension on the tendon, which is the source of the pain. This happens during adolescence, and our goal for treatment is simply to relieve the symptoms for your son or daughter because it will go away—without any long-term damage—once the Achilles tendon is fully grown.
  • Calcaneal fracture – Another possible source of heel pain for kids is a broken heel bone. This isn’t particularly common, but the calcaneus can break in response to traumatic physical force (like during an auto accident).
  • Plantar fasciitis – This condition develops when the connective tissue running along the bottom of the foot becomes inflamed due to overuse. The pain is experienced in the bottom of the heel and is strongest following extend periods of inactivity, like a night’s sleep.
  • Achilles tendinitis – When the pain is in the back of the heel, and strongest during and following physical activity, it is possible your child has an inflamed Achilles tendon. This condition is more commonly seen in middle-aged patients, but it can develop in response to excessive activity.

The good news is that most cases can be effectively treated without surgical care. If you have a child who is struggling with heel pain, or perhaps you are yourself, schedule an appointment with Advanced Foot and Ankle and we will create a treatment plan for you. Call our Twin Falls office at (208) 731-6321, our Burley office at (208) 312-4646, or request an appointment with either location online today.

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