Heel pain in children aged 10-14, especially those who intensively do sports is a very common condition. The child feels the pain of the heels after training and even when walking. The child can not run, train because the pain is nagging and interferes the activity.
What could it be? Will it go away by itself?
This is a condition called the Haglund‘s heel.
What exactly it is and what actions parents should take to help their children? Let’s start by explaining where this illness comes from. Well, it is associated with the process of intensive growth, which occurs in adolescence, i.e. in the age range of 10-14 years. Pain is caused by inflammation that develops around the heel spur. This is the place where the Achilles tendon is attached to the calcaneus. The cause of the irritation and inflammation is ischemia of the calcaneus. When the calcaneus is not adequately supplied with blood, the proces of the buildup of cartilage on the heel bone starts and this causes the irritation of the Achilles tendon (the Achilles tendon rubs against the heel spine) which can lead to inflammation. In addition, in children who grow quickly Achilles tendon does not keep up with the growth of the bones, and therefore it is strongly tense. Thus, the first method of relieving pain symptoms is the use of gel pads that lift the heel and eliminate the tension of the achilles tendon. For some young athletes, the use of inserts itself eliminates pain and they can train normally. Very often, however, the inserts alone are not enough. You have to stop training and physical activity (even PE at school) for at least 2 months. During this time, it is recommended to perform stretching exercises and rehabilitation treatments, such as cryotherapy or lasers. Anti-inflammatory ointments may also be used. Early diagnosis and start of rehabilitation shortens the time of training absence.
What to do? How to help our child soothe the pain and discomfort?
The first source of contact should be a physiotherapist who has contact with the problem of Haglund’s heels on a daily basis. He will probably advise us what to do and what steps to take. He can also recommend us an orthopedic, who is worth visiting to confirm whether we are dealing with the Haglund‘s heel. The orthopedic will direct the young athlete to do X-ray (X-ray). If the X-ray confirms that this is the Haglund‘s heel, the orthopedist can direct the young athlete to rehabilitation. Rehabilitation is based on a combination of treatments: cryotherapy, laser therapy, shockwave therapy with stretching exercises.
Vitamin D3 deficiency is one of the causes of the so-called Haglund’s heel.
In addition, attention should be paid to supplementation of vitamin D3.
Its deficiency is one of the causes of the development of a condition called the Haglund‘s heel.
Not only children should take vitamin D3, it is also recommended for adults.
Vitamin D is of great importance in the proper functioning of the body and all organs, including heart and brain. It makes the human immune system work properly. Vitamin D protects muscles and bones from injuries. Vitamin D supports the absorption of calcium.
Among others we find it in:
- Oily fish;
- Cod liver oil;
- Egg yolk;
Often, however, the diet is not enough and supplementation is needed. Therefore, it is worth to examine the level of vitamin D3 in our body and the body of a young athlete by doing a blood test to determine the level of vitamin D3.
Summing up, please observe your children and do not disregard when they say: “my heels are hurting”.