What Causes Children's Heel Pain?

"Hello, Dr. Danciger from Palm Desert, CA, and today I’d like to talk about Children’s heel pain and some of the causes. Very often, we’re seeing children somewhere between the ages of 7 – 15 years old that are starting to develop pain in the bottom of the heel. This is typically different from the plantar fasciitis that adults will get, and very often it can be caused from the growth center at the back of the heel, called the calcaneal apophysis, which is not yet fused to the main body of the heel bone, and there’s motion there from increased activity or stress, or a tight Achilles tendon. This causes some movement and results in pain in the area.

Very often, as the child starts soccer, football, track, or other activities, and basketball, there’s increased stress to this area which causes pain. The pain is very similar to plantar fasciitis type of pain, but there’s also pain when you squeeze the sides of the heel bone, in the area of the growth center. Often times soccer cleats or football cleats can aggravate this particular problem, especially when there’s only three or four cleats in the heel area, this puts a lot of pressure, going directly up to the growth center, and causes pain.

It’s important to diagnose the problem and make sure there was no injury or fracture through this growth plate, and then treatment can be instituted."

Dr. Harvey Danciger
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Dr. Harvey Danciger is a podiatrist and foot surgeon in Palm Desert, CA specializing in the foot and ankle