What to Do When Kids Have Heel Pain

"Hi, this is Dr. Matthew Paden and it is back to school! Back to school for us means a barrage of kids between 8 and 14 coming to our office with heel pain. The reason why we see this influx of kids with heel pain is the sporting events that are associated with back to school, such as soccer and football. These kids are wearing cleats, often on hard surfaces, and increasing in their activity. There’s a common condition that’s known as calcaneal apophysitis, also known as Sever’s Disease. What it does is it causes the kids to get significant heel pain. The cause of this heel pain is inflammation around the growth plate. These kids are increasing their activity level, there’s a lot of strain on that back edge of the heel that causes the inflammation to begin. Once it starts, the kids often complain of pain, especially with doing activities or even walking. A lot of times, these kids get so much pain that they have to stop their sports. However, we can help. We often see these kids and can place them into arch supports or even custom orthotics that can alleviate this pain. If this isn’t enough, we get them into a vigorous stretching program and sometimes rely on the help of physical therapists to help with the stretching and decreasing the inflammation that is causing a lot of this pain. Very rarely do we have to have the kids stop their activities, and in that case we often have to put them in a cast for a period of time. You can rest assured that your junior athlete can get improvement and resolution of this heel pain. Have them come on in and we’ll take care of them and get them back on their feet, doing their fun activities. Thank you!"