Heel Pain In Children

By Dr. Thomas Silver-Foot Specialist
Westwood Foot Clinic
Golden Valley, MN 55427

Running Tips

Heel pain in children is a very common problem that affects boys more than girls, typically between the ages of 9-15 for boys and 8-13 for girls. The heel pain that growing children suffer from, called Sever’s Disease or Calcaneal Apophysitis, can affect one heel or both and is different than the type of heel pain that adults commonly develop. Sever’s Disease is not a true disease but possibly called a disease because it can plague your child for quite a few years, especially those that are active in sports. This pain comes from an inflammation of the sensitive growth plate on the bottom back edge of the heel.

This is different than the heel pain adults often experience, called Plantar Fasciitis, which is typically a pull, strain or tear of the tissue in your arch at its attachment to the heel bone.

Children that are very active in sports, that do a lot of running and jumping or even those that stand for long periods most commonly develop Sever’s Disease. Children with this problem often will limp after sports. The growth plate in the back of the heel can get so irritated that their heel can become red, hot and swollen. The pain can become so severe that they are not able to participate in normal athletic activities.

Heel Spur




(The active growth plate appears as a white area in back of heel bone)

Fortunately, children do not have to continue to suffer with heel pain. This is a common problem treated by Dr. Thomas Silver at the Westwood Foot Clinic in Golden Valley, MN, the top specialists in the Minneapolis and St. Paul area for treatment of heel pain in children. As one of the only podiatrist’s in the Twin Cities to be part of the Minneapolis Children’s Hospital Physician Network, Dr. Silver regularly gets pediatric referrals to treat children with heel pain.

Children's HeelAccurate diagnosis of Sever’s Disease must be made by examination, digital x-rayimaging and gait analysis. According to Dr. Silver, Sever’s Disease often caused by a weak foot structure in which the heel does not hit the ground evenly. As a result, part of the growth plate sustains increased pressure which in turn causes inflammation. Proper diagnosis is especially important as occasionally other problems such as bone cyst or a fractured growth plate may be causing the pain.

Initial treatment may consist of change of shoes, over-the-counter shoe inserts, cushioned heel pads, ice, stretching and anti-inflammatory medications such as Ibuprofen. Sometimes it is necessary to reduce or even stopping any activity that causes pain and occasionally a child needs to be immobilized for a short while until the pain settles down.

At the Westwood Foot Clinic, we find that most children, especially those with a weak foot structure, have complete or significant pain relief with special prescription foot orthotics. The orthotics work by balancing and realigning their feet and reduce the pressure on their heels. As a result, your child is able to participate in sports and other activities with minimal to no heel pain.

If your child or the child of someone you know or care about is suffering from heel pain than an appointment with Dr. Silver at the Westwood Foot Clinic is necessary. Click here or call (763) 231-2341 now for an appointment. Same and next day appointments are often available.

Having Foot or Ankle Pain?

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