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What are the Most Common Causes of Heel Pain in Kids?

Autumn Rivers
Autumn Rivers

While heel pain in kids is common due to the fast growth of the feet during childhood, it is sometimes cause for concern. One of the most common reasons for heel pain in children is Sever's disease, which is also often referred to as calcaneal apophysitis. Tendo-Achilles bursitis, which causes inflammation of the area near the Achilles tendon, is another common cause of heel pain in kids. Bone fractures and blisters are also often the culprit of heel pain among children. Such conditions typically occur most in children who are either particularly active in sports, or are overweight.

Sever's disease is the inflammation of the growth plate in the heel, often as a result of excessive pressure on the heel near the Achilles tendon. This area is usually most susceptible to injury since the bones in the feet of children usually grow faster than the tendons and muscles do, often leading to these areas of the foot becoming tight and inflexible. This condition usually occurs in early puberty, which can last from ages 8 to 14. Sports or excess weight on the heel, usually due to extra body weight, can cause tenderness and inflammation to the area, especially after being active or standing for long periods of time.

Injuries to and around the Achilles tendon can cause heel pain in kids.
Injuries to and around the Achilles tendon can cause heel pain in kids.

Tendo-Achilles bursitis is another common cause of heel pain in kids, resulting in inflammation of the sac between the heel bone and the Achilles tendon. This sac is called the bursa, and it can easily become inflamed due to injury, such as during sports activities. Wearing shoes that are not well-cushioned can also lead to Tendo-Achilles bursitis, as can conditions like juvenile rheumatoid arthritis.

Not surprisingly, bone fractures can be a cause of heel pain in kids, usually due to stress that is so extreme that the bone breaks. This may occur after sudden trauma, such as a fall or hard jump onto the ground, but it may also result from overuse of the heel, especially when dealing with other foot injuries. For example, an ankle sprain can eventually lead to a heel fracture, as well, since the area is already weak.

There are other causes of heel pain in kids that are considered less serious. For example, blisters are uncomfortable, but they can usually be treated by discontinuing use of ill-fitting shoes. Other issues usually result from overuse of the foot rather than trauma, and can be treated easily in most cases. Achilles tendinitis is one example, in which the tendon becomes inflamed. Plantar fasciitis, or the inflammation of the plantar fascia on the bottom of the foot, is another example. Rest, ice, and orthotic devices in the shoes can usually treat these conditions.

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    • Injuries to and around the Achilles tendon can cause heel pain in kids.
      By: Alila
      Injuries to and around the Achilles tendon can cause heel pain in kids.