Heal Tendon For Teen Athlete

Hi, I’m Dr. Jared Nielsen here in Heber City, Utah. I’d like to share with you an important concept about student-athletes. Especially this time of year as we transition into our winter sports, boys have gone from playing on the football fields to the hard basketball court and all that pounding, running on the gym floor.

Transitioning then from basketball into soccer, a lot of the boys that haven’t been on the soccer field go through some tournaments out of the state to some warmer areas and they commonly end up with a heel pain.

What I’m talking about is in the heel, this calcaneus…in the child there still is a growth plate that’s open. When the pound and pound and pound the heel, they’ll actually get a shearing of that growth plate. It will irritate it and make a very, very sensitive heel.

The student-athlete and especially in the younger age from about fifth grade through 14 years old when those growth plates are really open, when they go from those aggressive sports — from, again, running to jumping and cutting quickly, the tendon will pull strongly here at the heel and disrupt or make that growth plate feel like it’s been bruised.

Especially as they’re trying to participate or run or cut, they’ll even limp or walk up on their toe or walk on the outside of the foot because of the amount of pain that they’ll feel in this region. Tape this by simply taking the tape and lay it down on the back of the heel and then right here, as the skin transitions from the soft skin to the heel skin, just make a little tab right there.

What that does is it gives us a little point of fulcrum to pull to be able to create some tension to help to calm that heel down. Then we take another tape and lay it over that tab now and pull it back into this direction. If you do this correctly, this gives us then a nice tab to create that drawing effect and you can see how that pulls strongly and actually then supports the heel. Then, we take another tape to lock that into position. This can be done in one of two directions. You can go around the heel first or cross to lock it.

Sometimes, we’ll even use an extra cover of that just to lock that in. Again, we get the support that we need in this area to keep this heel from avulsing or pulling upward as the calf muscle engages here on the Achilles tendon. I use a brown strapping tape. It works really well to be strong enough to hold that in position and gives the child enough support they can go back to play usually the same day. Thanks for taking the time to watch this video.

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