When you think “heel pain,” you’re probably imagining a middle-aged adult after a hard day of work or a long run or hike. It’s supposed to be a condition for the old and older! So it can be concerning for a parent when their active teenager complains of heel pain, especially when it’s strong enough to keep them from performing their best (or playing at all) on the sports field.
That said, heel pain is quite common among tweens and teens, especially those playing a sport (or many of them!) and just hitting a growth spurt. In short, this is likely the result of Sever’s disease, a condition unique to growing kids due to the exposed position of the heel’s growth plate at this age.
So that’s the way, but what about the how? As a parent, how can you help your child get over their pain and get back in the game?
For starters, you need to make sure they take a break from athletics for a week or two to rest. This kind of heel pain usually doesn’t require aggressive treatment, but continuing to be active can lead to more serious chronic pain. You should also help them handle the pain with appropriate doses of over-the-counter medication, as well as ice for the heels.
Heel pain that doesn’t improve, gets worse, or keeps coming back should be evaluated by the team at Dallas Podiatry Works. Again, the odds are good that your child will not need surgery; however, they may need a little more help than you can provide at home. This may include the use of shoe inserts or custom orthotics, prescription-strength anti-inflammatory medications, or physical therapy. More extreme cases might require a few weeks in a cast, walking boot, or leg brace while the injury heals.
Fortunately, with proper care your child should be back out and about, at full activity, in the not-too-distant future. If you need a little assistance getting your little one back on track, call the Dallas Podiatry Works today at 972.566.7474.