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Baseball heel pain that has gotten progressively worse

March 11, 2010

Question

“Dr. Rick, my son plays three basketball games a week and has had heel pain that has gotten progressively worse as he continues to play.  Do you have any suggestions?  Thank you.”

Answer

Thank you very much for you question. Generally when an athlete with open growth plates has heel pain, it is related to Sever’s disease, which is an overload at the growth plate in the calcaneus or heel bone. This is usually progressed and/or worsened with increased activities. The hallmark of treatment includes simple rest and taking a day off in between basketball practices, workouts, etc. If this does not help, orthotics or heel cups, a non-steroidal inflammatory, icing and very gentle stretching have evidenced to improve Sever’s disease. Again, if the symptoms do not resolve with simple rest, the athlete should be seen by his or her physician. X-rays should be obtained to make a specific diagnosis. Thank you for your question.

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