3 Reasons Your Child’s Heel Hurts

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“Ouch, my heel hurts!” is a complaint that many parents get from their children, particularly those who play sports. At NY Foot Health, we want to stress the importance of taking your child’s complaints of foot pain seriously and getting them checked out promptly. Developing bones, ligaments and tendons can suffer long-term damage if injured and not treated. Below are three common causes of heel pain in children.

Sever’s Disease—the name of this condition is misleading because it is not really a disease. Sever’s disease is an inflammation at the growth plate of the heel. It is most often seen in children ages 8-15 who participate in activities where there is repetitive stress to the heel. Until the heel is fully developed, new bone is forming at the back of the heel leaving a vulnerable spot at the growth plate that can become inflamed with overuse.

Plantar Fasciitis—a long band of tissue that runs from the heel to the toe, called the plantar fascia, can become inflamed if your child has flat feet or spends too much time in shoes with little or no arch support. When this happens, heel pain can occur. In some cases, the podiatrist may prescribe a custom orthotic device to give your child’s foot the support it needs to alleviate strain on the plantar fascia.

Stress Fracture—this type of injury can be tricky to get a handle on. Your child may complain of heel pain when active, but not when they are at rest. It may seem like the pain comes and goes. Occasionally the heel may appear swollen. Stress fractures are hairline cracks in the bone. They need treatment and the opportunity to heal before they develop into more painful and debilitating conditions.

If your child says his or her heel hurts, make an appointment with your podiatrist to get them evaluated. Don’t have a podiatrist? We can help you find one in your area with our online directory. If you have questions about how to protect the health of your child’s feet, contact us.