Pain in the heel of kids is not very common, but when it does occur, the commonest reason is a condition referred to as Severs disease. It is not really a “disease”, but it is the term that has unfortunately widely used. It is appropriately named calcaneal apophysitis. It is a issue with the growing region at the back of the heel bone. Because it is a condition, of the growing bone, the disorder is self-limiting and definately will no longer be a problem once the growth of that bone has finished. It is more common around the ages of 10-12 years.
The classic symptom of Severs disease is soreness on activity and pain on squeezing the sides of the back part of the heel. To begin with the pain is relatively minor and doesn't impact action very much, however later it will become more severe and affects sports participation and might lead to limping. The exact cause of it is not known, but it is clearly an too much use type condition as it is more common in kids who participate in more sport and more frequent in those who have a higher BMI. Those with tight leg muscles might be at a increased possibility for the chances of this problem.
Commonly, the treatment of Severs disease is activity modification. The child is urged to keep active, but simply scale back activity levels to a level which can be coped with and not too painful. A soft heel pad in the footwear may be helpful to protect it. Ice following exercise can also be helpful to help the symptoms. If the calves are tight, then a stretching program needs to be used. Sometimes foot supports can help when the arch of the foot is flat. On rare occasions a splint can be used, and all activities stopped until it gets better. By the mid-teens the growing area that this occurs at combines with the rest of the heel bone, so this stops being an issue at those age groups.