Many children today are introduced to a variety of sports, sometimes before they even learn to read! Playing games is natural for them. Soccer, for example, is a great example of a simple game that children can grasp at a young age and enjoy as they grow into their bodies and increase their skill level.
Sports such as soccer offer a wide range of documented physical, emotional, social, and educational benefits that can last into adulthood. But increasingly, many young people also experience trauma and heel pain as a result.
Children’s Sports Injuries
The good news is that most cases of heel pain are temporary and can be resolved with conservative care. Here’s what you need to know about Sever’s Disease so that your budding athlete always feels like a winner.
- Most heel pain in children is due to injury to the growth plate in the heel bone. These heel plates are exposed, soft areas of bone tissue that don’t reach full maturity until age 15 or so. This makes our young athletes especially vulnerable to injury.
- If your child is limping or complaining of foot pain, don’t tell them to “walk it off.” Instead, give them a break from sports for a few days to a few weeks, depending on the severity of the pain. This will give their heels a chance to recover. Give them something fun to focus on instead—break out a new board game or video game.
- We also suggest icing the heel to control swelling, performing calf stretches, and in some cases, custom orthotics to provide additional support and cushioning.
With the proper attention and care, your child will be back on their feet in no time. Remember to encourage their love of sports. Be their first fan and always be at their backs cheering them on and supporting them, win or lose. If they begin to limp, or complain of heel pain, give the team at Pediatric Foot & Ankle a call right away at (480) 497-3946, or contact us.