Heel pain in children can be due to many different conditions, but one of the commonest is Sever’s disease. This usually affects children between the ages of nine and thirteen and is characterized by pain felt at the back of the heel when exercising. It often starts in September or May, coinciding with a change in sports routine. It is due to inflammation of the back of the heel bone (calcaneum) caused by the repetitive traction of the Achilles tendon on the growing bone. Tightness of the calf muscles exacerbates the problem.
The condition is self-limiting and does resolve once the heel bone has stopped growing but physiotherapy and the use of orthotics (insoles) can ease the symptoms. Surgery is not required for Sever’s disease.