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Do your kids suffer heel pain?

Posted by Happifeet Podiatry on May 30, 2019 at 9:15 AM


With so many children involved in competitive school or club sports these days, it is not uncommon for parents and coaches to notice more foot, ankle and leg complaints from children.

These complaints can be due to an overuse injury, which develop with an increase in training frequency and intensity. Overuse injuries can affect anyone, they are certainly not limited to people who are elite athletes.

There are many parts of the body affected by overuse injuries. In the feet and legs, the bones, muscles, ligaments, tendons and even the growth plates (such as the one at the back of the heel bone or just below the knees) can all become sore.

Growth plates are where new bone growth occurs and while this is happening the growth plate is susceptible to injury. There is usually an intense, dull pain or ache after the child has been training or playing sports, sometimes accompanied by stiffness or tightness every time they are active. Some have found that sudden growth spurts in active kids can coincide with the beginning of overuse type injuries.

Overuse injuries develop slowly, and some may feel better after a few hours of rest, while others may suffer for days and not settle.

The most common overuse injury in young soccer players is called “Severs”. Severs is pain at the growth plate at the back of the heel and sometimes pain in their Achilles tendon.

While poor foot posture and muscular development can also be either a causing or aggravating factor, we have found that the poor design in their soccer boots to be a major cause of this extra stress and strain on their growth plate.


Our podiatrists are trained to assess children with these concerns in order to determine the cause of the problem.

No one wants to see their children suffering pain so it’s most important to find the correct diagnosis so that you know you’re treating the cause of the problem and not just the symptoms.

If the problem is their soccer boots, we can provide simple ways to modify the existing boots or give advice on what to look for in soccer boots.


Here are some questions that we typically ask a parent:

• Are they complaining of pain just after activity or at other times during the day/night too?

• Are they limping from the pain?

• How long does the pain stay around for?

• When did the pain start?

• What shoes/boots are they wearing while playing sports?


We normally recommend immediate treatment in children if they are experiencing pain - before it stops them from participating in their favourite activities.

We also advocate for preventative treatment, and if you feel that your child’s feet or walking style is causing you concern, we would highly recommend a podiatry assessment to find the root cause of the problem so that they don’t suffer pain or potential long-term foot problems later in life.

Happifeet Podiatry help people be happy, healthy & active through caring for their feet.

For more information please call Ph 3818 6300 or send us an email to admin@happifeetpodiatry.com.

Written by Tram Phan (Senior Podiatrist/Director)

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