HEEL PAIN IN KIDS

21 March 2024

HEEL PAIN IN KIDS by Kellie Palmer (Podiatrist)

Have you noticed your child limping? Do they complain of pain during or after sport? Have they stopped wanting to participate from sport all together because of pain? A very common cause of heel pain in kids is called Calcaneal Apophysitis (Sever’s Condition), and it is worth getting it checked out. 

Calcaneal Apophysitis is a common kids condition we see at Stepping Out Podiatry. It is characterised by pain at the back of the heel, particularly during and after sport or high-level activity. It is generally seen in kids between 8-13 years old.  

Calcaneal Apophysitis typically occurs when a child has a growth spurt and the long leg bones are lengthening, but the muscles and tendons have yet to grow or stretch to keep up. This causes the Achilles tendon to become tight and to pull on the back of the heel bone. In adults, the calcaneus (heel bone) is one solid bone, however before the age of about 13 (maximum), the calcaneus is actually still in two parts and has yet to solidify/fuse into one solid bone. This means that when the Achilles is pulling on the back of the heel bone, it causes shearing and inflammation.  

Fortunately there are several interventions our Podiatrists can suggest to reduce pain and manage the symptoms until the bone totally fuses.  Footwear changes, icing and strapping are a few measures you can put into place straight away.  If the pain isn’t subsiding and you feel you need help, or feel there might be an underlying gait issue contributing to this pain, make an appointment and let us help to get their pain under control!