Your Budding Football Star and Heel Pain

Your child may dream of one day playing for the Houston Texans or the Dallas Cowboys, but he or she has a lot of growing to do before then! Meanwhile, they can start with a great program in Austin—YMCA Flag Football. This program focuses on the child—developing skills, improving physical fitness, and having fun. Kids are taught to enjoy the striving as much as—or more than—the winning. Keep in mind, though, that playing football—or any sport for that matter—is not without risk of injury.

As children go through their growth spurt in early adolescence, the heel bone can grow more quickly than other tissues in the leg, and they can develop a tight Achilles tendon. Repetitive actions like running and jumping can increase this stress, and as the Achilles pulls against the growth plate on the heel, it damages the cartilage there. This injury can lead to children’s heel pain and a condition called Sever’s disease.

To avoid the problem in the first place, make sure your child wears the proper type of shoes for his or her sport, and that they fit well and provide enough padding to protect their tender heels. Making sure he or she warms up properly and keeps leg muscles and tendons limber and in good shape can help as well.

If heel pain does develop, he or she will need to rest for it to heal properly. This means stopping all the activity that causes the pain. Resting from activity will bring quicker healing, so he or she will be able to get back into football as soon as it is safe. Icing, elevating, and using compression can also relieve pain and swelling.

Bring your child to our office at the first sign of a problem. We will diagnose exactly what is causing the pain and find the right treatment needed for complete healing. Call Austin Foot and Ankle Specialists at (512) 328-8900 to set up an appointment today.

Most people who have searched this content have also found Avoiding Sports Injuries helpful.

Dr. Craig H. Thomajan, DPM, FACFAS, FAENS
Founder and Managing Partner of Austin Foot and Ankle Specialists
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