Heel Pain in Children

Did you know that most foot and leg problems can be prevented?

person massaging child's foot

Heel Pain in Children

What is heel pain in children?

Heel pain in children is often referred to as Sever’s disease or calcaneal apophysitis. It is extremely common, especially in children aged 8–15 years who are very active. It usually develops just before puberty. Sports that involve running and jumping can increase the risk of developing this problem. Children may complain of pain during and/or after activity, but the pain usually resolves by the next morning. In more severe cases, the pain may cause a child to limp. One or both feet may be affected.

What causes heel pain in children?

The heel pain is really the result of the bones in the lower leg growing faster than the muscles and tendons. This causes tightness, which irritates the growth plate and causes it to become inflamed. The impact associated with the heel contacting the ground when moving also contributes to this.

heel pain in children
small boy with heel pain

Treatment for heel pain in children

The good news is that the pain will resolve when the growth plate fuses to the heel bone. The bad news is that this can take up to a couple of years, which means you will need to help your child to manage their symptoms between now and then. In most cases, children don’t need to give up the sports they love. But it’s important to modify their activities to get the pain under control. If you’re unsure about how much is too much, book an appointment with one of our experienced podiatrists. Acting early can really have a big impact on pain levels. We can also help your child with the following:

  • Pain management strategies

  • Footwear advice

  • Padding and taping techniques

  • Soft heel raisers

  • Orthotics

  • Massage

  • Stretching exercises

  • Strengthening exercises