If your child is complaining of heel pain, especially after playing sports, it is not something to dismiss or take lightly. With fall sports in full swing, we see several children daily that are experiencing heel and arch pain.
Often, the heel pain starts intermittently but within a few weeks can become more consistent and painful. It’s best to get evaluated early before it makes a significant impact on your child’s comfort, performance, as well as their enjoyment of the sport.
Two of the most common causes of heel pain are plantar fasciitis, or inflammation of the long ligament on the bottom of the heel and arch, and Achilles tendinitis, or inflammation of the large tendon behind the ankle that attaches to the back of the heel. Children with overly flat feet are at more risk for developing plantar fasciitis and Achilles tendinitis due to the mechanical instability of the foot. Increased activity such as playing sports can cause repetitive and excessive stretching of the plantar fascia and Achilles, leading to inflammation and pain.
Another common cause of heel pain in children is Sever’s Disease. When the plantar fascia and the Achilles tendon are tight, they can pull on the growth center of the heel bone, causing traction at the growth center, leading to pain and inflammation.
Plantar fasciitis and Sever’s disease both respond well to conservative treatment such as stretching, heel lifts, rest and ice. Our doctors may also recommend custom molded orthotics to address the instability of the foot that is commonly the root cause of these painful conditions. Kansas City Foot and Ankle also utilizes advanced laser technology; a very safe, effective and pain free treatment to decrease your child’s pain and inflammation quickly.
If your child is telling you their feet or heels hurt, call our office to schedule an appointment with one of our foot and ankle doctors. We have convenient after school hours and you can usually see the doctor the same day or the next day. Get your child back on the field comfortably. Call 816-943-1111 to schedule an appointment today.