Sports and Foot Health: Heel Pain in Children
Many parents underestimate the importance of their children seeing a podiatrist regularly. Just as they see a dentist to keep their teeth and gums healthy, children should see a podiatrist to ensure that their feet and ankles are developing normally. This is especially important for kids who play sports where lots of running or footwork is involved.
During a recent exam, an eight year old patient complained of heel pain, particularly after playing sports. It had worsened over the last few months, and her mother thought it might be plantar fasciitis. In fact, it was osteochondroses, also known as Sever’s disease. Simply put, this condition usually occurs in overactive children who have tight Achilles tendons. The pain results from the repetitive pulling of the tendon on the growth plate in the heel bone.
Treatment of Sever’s disease often consists of immobilization, anti-inflammatories, and stretching before and after activity. Orthotics or a heel pad will also help decrease the tension of the Achilles tendon on the heel. Spontaneous resolution occurs when the growth plate closes as the child grows.
Thankfully, we were able to diagnose the patient’s condition and treat it accordingly. She now has less pain and can prevent injury as she grows. Eventually, this pain will most likely go away on its own. Triad Foot Center takes a whole-family approach to our practice. We encourage all of the members of your family to keep their feet healthy. To set up an appointment or consultation, click here.
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