Youth Baseball and Heel Pain: Should Kids Play with Pain?

Youth baseball, ptiching and foot painSpring has finally sprung and now there’s another baseball season that is about to begin. Travel leagues are continuing, while spring little league is beginning. Some of our children are playing both and that can lead to problems due to overuse that, as we know from our childhood, can contribute to injuries.

In our practice we are already noticing children coming into our offices complaining of heel pain. Kids with heel pain….not something many of us think about, but it happens more often than you may think.

What is causing my child’s heel pain?

Basically, what we’re dealing with is an irritation of the growth plate of the heel bone. This bone is also known as the Calcaneus.  As children grow, their bones naturally lengthen and their tendons slowly stretch and become longer. The stretching and pull of the Achilles tendon on the back of the heel bone can cause irritation and inflammation of the calcaneal growth plate. This irritation and inflammation, commonly known as Severs Disease or Calcaneal Apophysitis, is the pain your child is complaining about.

Sometimes the act of simply growing is enough to cause irritation to the growth plate. Add repetitive foot movements associated with baseball to the mix, and it’s easy to see how the repeated heel trauma can trigger or exasperate symptoms.

Gowth plate injuries in heel, Baseball injuriesThe required motion to play certain positions in baseball may increase the likelihood of your child having heel pain. The most common position associated with heel pain is pitching. Due to the increased pressure to the heel required to transfer weight during the pitching motion, and the direct trauma to the heel to accept weight to the lower extremity, we see more frequent inflammation of the heel. Remember, we are talking about children under the age of 16, so they are still growing.

Sometimes these ailments carried over from the previous season and continued play can aggravate the condition. And today many children are playing a single sport, year round without a break.  This continued stress on the same muscles and specific parts of the foot puts your child at risk for a growth plate injury.

Should your child play baseball with heel pain?

Certain movements increase trauma to the heels of your child. Playing baseball may contribute to local aches and pains for our young players. But unless we see local swelling, it is rare that complete rest is necessary. Usually, we suggest reducing local inflammation with icing for 5 to 10 minutes. Remember, these are areas that we do not want to reduce blood flow to for an extended period of time. Immobilization in the evening, as well as stretching of the Achilles tendon will help reduce inflammation locally. Adequate rest between practices and games is also recommended.

We recommend players protect the region in the short term and see their foot and ankle specialist for a complete evaluation if the discomfort persists. For more information about heel pain and children, we encourage you to call us at (877) 989-9110 or visit us at www.footankleinstitute.com.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

11,739 Total 1st Party Reviews
4.9 out of 5 Stars
  • Google
    Everyone is very nice and recieved outstanding care.
    Theresa W.
  • GatherUp
    110 % well treated!
    Martha C.
  • Yelp
    Surgeons are in a position of moral hazard. They make more money from surgery than from a low-tech solution. I was impressed th...
    Andy S.
  • GatherUp
    Very happy!!
    Martha G.
  • GatherUp
    Very friendly and personable staff and very comfortable and confident with the doctor.
    William M.
  • GatherUp
    The staff were polite, communicative and efficient.
    Lauralee A.
  • GatherUp
    Doctor Briskin is caring, knowable and one of the best doctors I have ever come in contact with. There is physical therapy ava...
    Howard F.
  • GatherUp
    Excellent concerned, friendly service from the staff to the Dr. Knowledgeable personnel provided answers to questions/concerns....
    Robert J.
  • GatherUp
    I'll be back as needed. Thank you.
    Dale W.
  • Yelp
    After over 3 years of relentless research and visiting over 10 different board-certified orthopedic surgeons, podiatrists, phys...
    Justin P.
  • GatherUp
    Dr Feldman is the best! He is caring, attentive to details, responsive and a very responsible doctor! I highly recommending Dr ...
    Lian P.
  • GatherUp
    I appreciate the medical treatment.
    Nino M.
Same Day Appointments
Now Available!

Or call 877-989-9110

24 hours a day, 7 days a week