Soreness in the rearfoot of children isn't common, however when it does occur, the most frequent reason is a condition referred to as Severs disease. It is not a real “disease”, however it is the name that has regrettably widely used. It is actually properly called calcaneal apophysitis. It is a problem in the growing area at the back of the heel bone. Since it is a disorder, of the growing bone, the disorder is self-limiting and definately will no longer be an issue once the growth of that bone has concluded. It is more common around the ages of 10-12 years.
The common sign of Severs disease are soreness on activity and pain on compressing the sides of the rear area of the heel bone. In the beginning the pain is not that bad and doesn't impact action very much, however later it becomes more painful and impacts exercise participation and can even result in limping. The precise cause of it is not clear, but it is certainly an too much use type issue since it is more common in kids who play more sport and more frequent in children who have a higher BMI. Children with tighter calf muscles may also be at a greater possibility for the chances of this condition.
Usually, the treatment of Severs disease is activity modification. The child is urged to remain active, but just cut back exercise levels to a level that can be tolerated and not too painful. A soft heel pad in the shoe might be useful to cushion it. Ice soon after sport can also be useful to help the symptoms. If the leg muscles are tight, then a stretching program needs to be used. Sometimes foot supports can be helpful if the arch of the foot is overpronated. On rare occasions a brace can be utilized, and all activities stopped until it heals. By the mid-teens the growth plate that this takes place at merges with the rest of the heel bone, which means this stops being a problem at those ages.