With the start of the sporting season impending, Reform Podiatry Camden will always see an increase of active, growing kids reporting the onset of heel pain.
The combination of growth and the return to sport after the extended summer break often puts excessive pressure and strain on the heels resulting in heel pain in child athletes.
The paediatric podiatrist at Reform Podiatry Camden has a list of tips to help reduce the risk heel pain in kids.
Stretch – Kids are growing and will continue to do so throughout the sporting season. By stretching proactively, children can decrease the risk of developing painful forms of heel pain such as Severs. Whilst stretching the entire body is important, stretches focused on reducing heel pain in kids should be calf stretches.
- Strength – Once the muscles are warmed up and stretched, Reform Podiatry suggests our kid athletes should strengthen the calf muscles. Stronger calf muscles will mean the achilles tendon does not have as much strain. Exercises such as calf raises are beneficial in increasing calf strength.
- Footwear – Shoes are an essential tool in reducing heel pain. Students spend over 30 hours per week in school shoes alone. Supportive and cushioned shoes can help reduce reaction forces through the painful heels.
- Heel lifts – Small tapered heel lifts are a great tool used to help de-load the sore heel. By lifting the heel up on a slight gradient, tension in the achilles tendon is reduced allowing the heel pain to settle down. These combined with pain relief such as ice or topical anti-inflammatories have excellent analgesic effects.
If your children’s heel pain remains persistent and their athletic performance is being impacted, book in a paediatric podiatry assessment at Reform Podiatry Camden.