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Pediatric Heel Pain


Pediatric Heel Pain

Pediatric Heel Pain

Heel pain in children, although usually not serious, should be looked at and properly treated. These injuries can develop over time and often are due to overuse in rigorous sports training, especially running and jumping.

The most common causes of pediatric heel pain are Sever’s disease, an injury to the growth plate in the lower back of the heel, and Achilles tendonitis, an injury to the Achilles tendon that connects the calf muscles to the heel bone.


Sever’s disease causes pain in the back of the heel, especially when squeezing the back of the foot. You may see swelling and warmth in the area. The child may limp or walk on their toes.

With Achilles tendonitis, the child will feel pain in the heel or the back of the foot. The pain may be mild and then gradually get worse. He or she may have difficulty walking.

Treating Pediatric Heel Pain

Treatment depends on the cause of the heel pain. For Sever’s disease, treatment includes stretching the calf muscles, icing the area and pain medications. Custom orthotic devices can help redistribute pressure. Rest and cushioned heel lifts can help the child return to normal activities in 3 to 6 weeks.

With Achilles tendonitis, the RICE method of rest, ice, compression and elevation can help ease symptoms. Anti-inflammatory medications like ibuprofen can help relieve pain and swelling. Stretching can help to minimize re-injury.


You can reduce your child’s risk of heel pain by:

  • Keeping a normal weight
  • Choose footwear that is appropriate for each activity
  • Shoes should be supportive and well-constructed
  • Limit wearing cleats and select models with a greater number of studs
  • Not letting your child workout beyond his or her ability
  • Making sure your child doesn’t accelerate speed or duration of activity too quickly
Leander Foot & Ankle
1820 Crystal Falls Parkway, Suite 320
Leander, TX 78641
Phone: 512-883-7135
Fax: 512-717-9071
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