At this time of year kids have started preseason for soccer and football and kids are still playing basketball, netball and tennis. As a result we are seeing a number of children presenting to the clinic with pain in the back of their heel that can result in limping or hobbling off the pitch or court.
Today I want to share with you three basic tips you can use to help your kids get over their heel pain and keep them doing the activity they love.
- Heel Raise
The thing we're looking for in footwear is specifically what we term, the drop. The drop refers to the fall from the back of the shoe to the front of the shoe. For example a high heel has a high drop, whereas a thong has a low drop. What we see is the kids that are having problems with their heels are children that are playing football and soccer where the boots used have a very low drop or basketball, netball and tennis where the surfaces they play on are very hard.
By wearing a shoe that has a low drop, you're going to stretch the Achilles which puts stress on the back of the heel where the tendon attaches. So by putting your child in a nice cushioned shoe with a high drop you are going to take stress off of the heel, in turn reducing pain.
A heel raise goes inside the shoe, placing the foot into a pointed position, which takes the stress off the heel. Now if you combine this with the shoe that we were talking about before, the one with a nice drop, you are 80 percent on the way to fixing your child's pain.
Taping is incredibly useful for managing heel pain. Follow this link http://www.acpodiatry.com.au/how-to-tape-for-achilles-pain/ to watch how you can offload your child’s heel and make them better in a very short space of time.
You combine these three things, and I promise your son or daughter will be feeling much better in very quick time. If they don't get better, really look to get some professional help. No child should be running around in pain.