Children and Sports Podiatry


Is your child experiencing heel pain after training?

Training season is on! Many active kids are busy training and playing Football, AFL and Netball to keep them healthy and fit. Kids that get heel pain are typically active and sporty. Heel pain, can be known as Sever’s Disease. The growth plate on the back of the heel gets sore when your child runs and jumps a lot during sport. The heel cord that attaches to the growth plate pulls and causes tension and inflammation on the back of the heel.

Kids often enjoy their sport so much, that they fail to tell parents that there heels hurt after they have been training. I think this is because they fear that they might get told that they have to rest. If you notice your child limping or running awkwardly, ask them if they are in pain.

Many active soccer players get heel pain between the ages of 9-13 years

So what can I do if my child has heel pain?

Seeking professional advice from a podiatrist who specializes in children is advised. At Inspire Podiatry we are the experts in managing kids’ heel pain. Initial treatment can include, checking the foot posture and mechanics of how the foot moves when your child runs. We check how aggregated the heel is by hopping on the spot. The foot is assessed to see if there is any inflammation in the surrounding tissues.  The growth plate and the Achillie’s Tendon is examined. It’s important to check and treat any inflammation in the area. We have the latest state of the art equipment such as electro-therapy which will help to heal the tissue on a cellular level. This is a painless treatment.

Kids can get heel pain because they are growing and can often get tight muscles in the leg and thigh. We take the time to check lower limb flexibility. Your child may be given exercises to do at home to improve their flexibility. Pain can be reduced by doing these prescribed exercises.

What treatments are there for my child with heel pain?

Sometimes children just need some sports specific shoe advice. Others may need a cushioned support like an orthotic innersole or insert. This treatment has the ability to reduce the load on the growth plate. At Inspire Podiatry we have 3D laser scanning technology to make this happen. This is the latest state of the art equipment used to scan the foot in the corrected alignment so a truly customized orthotic device can be made for the right fit. These are worn in your child’s shoe. This treatment can change muscle firing patterns during running and realign the foot.

Your child doesn’t have to stop their training if they get the right treatment for their heel pain. I believe in treating the pain first before having to reduce activity. It’s important to keep our kids active and happy so they can enjoy doing what they love. Sever’s pain does not last forever, it will cease by the time your child is around 15 years of age, when the growth plate forms part of the adult heel bone.

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