Children and Sports Podiatry

Why could my child limp with heel pain?

Active kids do get heel pain and ankle pain after growth spurts.
Heel pain in children is typically related to the developing growth plate in the child’s foot. The medical term given to children’s heel pain is Sever’s disease. It is often seen in running sports which require football boots, dancers and, sports such as basketball. These sports demand dynamic strength and agility as there are greater demands on the leg muscles which requires a lot of work on the ankle in the foot.

The heel pain from a child’s foot comes from inflammation and irritation of the heel where the growth plate still exists. Your child may complain of heel pain at the end of a soccer game or first thing in the morning after a big game the day before. It’s important to have your child’s foot pain assessed as symptoms can become quite aggravated. Your child may alter the way they are walking on a permanent basis by shortening the time they put load on their heel during gait. Early treatment can settle pain quite quickly, but symptoms can last up until the age of 15 years.

At Inspire podiatry we appreciate that the last thing your child wants to do is stop running around after that soccer ball or giving up their weekly dance class.

Possible causes of children’s heel pain

  • Recent growth spurts
  • Having tight muscles. Such as tight hamstring muscles and tight calf muscles
  • Increased training loads in a sport specific activity: lots of running and jumping activities.
  • Training on hard surfaces
  • Wearing poorly supportive footwear and shoes without a firm shank


Is your child experiencing any of these foot pains?