Heel pain, which is common in children, Sever's disease, which is known as a painful inflammation of the heel growth cartilage, can be caused by excess weight, cysts of the heel bone, heel bone infection and even the wrong choice of shoes. Heel pain, which can usually be relieved with simple treatments, is ignored by saying "it's a child, it will pass anyway" and if precautions are not taken, it can pave the way for serious problems that can lead to gait disorders in the future. From Memorial Şişli Hospital Orthopedics and Traumatology Department, Op. Dr. Mehmet Halis Çerçi gave information about the causes of heel pain in children and the precautions to be taken.
Sever's disease loves children who play sports
Sever's disease, known as calcaneal apophysitis (non-microbial inflammation of the growth cartilage of the heel bone), comes first among the most common causes of heel pain in children. Exposure to micro-traumas as a result of excessive use of heel growth cartilage during sports can cause inflammation. Sever's disease, which is common especially in very active children between the ages of 5-11, constitutes the majority of heel pain in children playing basketball and football. In addition to sports such as basketball, football, athletics, heel pain due to Sever's disease can be experienced in activities such as jumping rope.
Pain behind or under the heel
Difficulty participating in sports
Sever's disease, which manifests itself with symptoms such as walking on the toes due to pain, can be resolved in 2-3 weeks with simple measures.
Sever's disease symptoms are alleviated with simple measures such as taking a break from sports, ice therapy, and painkillers. In some cases where these measures do not provide sufficient relief, heel pads, insoles that reduce the load on the heel, walking boots that keep the foot and ankle completely still, walking casts or physical therapy exercises can be used.
Do not let your children exercise for a long time without rest
Overloading the Achilles tendon, which connects the calf muscles to the heel bone and enables the rotational movement of the ankle during running and walking, and the front of the foot and the fingers to move down, can cause heel pain. These conditions, called Achilles tendinitis, can occur in children, usually with a sudden increase in sports activities. Children who do repetitive activities such as running, jumping or turning, continuing the activity for a long time without resting, suddenly increasing the activity pattern, incorrect training, keeping warm-up movements short and doing sports on uneven areas may also predispose to the development of Achilles tendinitis and heel pain. Achilles tendinitis, which causes swelling and difficulty walking along with heel pain, can turn into a chronic condition if left untreated. In order to prevent excessive stretching of the Achilles tendon, it is necessary to use shoes suitable for the activity.
If he starts the day with heel pain…
Plantar fasciitis, which is one of the most common foot problems in adults, can also be experienced in children, although it is rare. The thick membrane called the plantar fascia, which extends like a fan on the sole of the foot from the heel to the toes, carries the weight of the body with every step. Choosing the wrong shoes, standing too long, a sudden increase in activity, and sports involving running or jumping cause stretching of the plantar fascia membrane. When you get out of bed in the morning, the pain is more and starts to ease during the day. Avoiding heavy activities, exercises that will loosen the plantar fascia membrane, such as rolling a tennis ball or frozen plastic bottle under the soles of the feet, or using appropriate insoles reduce the complaints.
You can prevent heel pain
It is possible to prevent heel pain, which can also be caused by insufficiency (fatigue) fractures due to excessive weight and trauma in children.
- Pay attention to the choice of shoes suitable for your child's sports, both against injuries and against possible heel pain.
- Make sure to be under the supervision of a competent trainer while doing sports.
- Take care not to skip warm-up or cool-down exercises in sports.
- Provide your child with a balanced diet by keeping them away from junk food in weight control and nutrition.
- Do not direct your child to sports or activities different from their abilities