Q I’ve been jogging regularly for the last 15 years. Now, after each run, the backs of my heels are starting to ache – around the heel and the bottom of the achilles tendon. I love running, but should I now stop?

A At least for the moment, yes. It seems to me that you have overstretched the attachment of the achilles tendon to the back of the heel, and that needs care. If you continue to run, you may tear the tendon. So go to see your doctor, who will either advice  you in person or refer you to a sports specialist. Don’t try to treat yourself until you know exactly what is causing the pain.

Q My seven-year-old son has had a lump (a bit smaller than the tip of a little finger) in his neck since he was four. He is otherwise healthy, apart from recurring ear infections. I’ve pointed the lump out to his GP and was told to come back if it grows, which it hasn’t. I am slightly worried because my brother had lymphoma (Hodgkin’s disease) when he was 18.

A I can understand your worry about lymphoma because of your brother’s experience, but please put that behind you. This is not Hodgkin’s disease. As the lump has been present for more than three years without changing or bothering your son, it is almost certainly an old fibrous lymph node scar that arose with one of his previous ear infections. Many children have similar lumps in their necks that remain there for many years, most gradually disappearing as the neck tissues grow with approaching adulthood.


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