Karl Collins, DPM, FACFAS, a St. Louis-area foot and ankle surgeon, says heel pain occurs frequently in children ages 6 to 14 as their feet grow and the heel bone develops. "As children become more active in sports, they increase their risk for growth plate injuries and subsequent heel pain," says Collins. This is especially true during the school year, when surgeons see an increase in middle- and high-school athletes experiencing heel pain from sports.
"New bone forms in an area behind the heel, known as the growth plate, and cartilage is vulnerable to severe inflammation from strain or stress. With repeated stresses and strains from overactivity, the heel becomes very painful," Collins explains.