03 Oct Causes and Treatment for a Child Complaining of Foot Pain
Often, a child complaining of foot pain suffers from heel pain. Depending on the age of the child, it is easy to recognize foot pain, but it is difficult to pinpoint exactly where in the foot the pain is. Although heel pain is very common in children, it isn’t very serious. As a parent, it is in your child’s best interest for you to learn the different causes of heel and foot pain, as well as the proper course of treatment.
Calcaneal Apophysitis (Sever’s Disease)
Calcaneal Apophysitis (commonly referred to as Sever’s disease) is a common source of heel pain for child athletes between the ages of 5 and 11. This overuse injury is the result of a repetitive trauma caused during running-related activities or sports. Medical experts believe the Achilles tendon repeatedly pulling down on a child’s growing heel bone causes the problem. In addition to athletes, children who jump rope are also at risk of this heel injury. A child with this injury experiences pain and tenderness when you squeeze the back of the foot. The back of the foot may become warm and start to swell, as well.
Treatment for Sever’s disease includes stretching the calf muscles, icing, and over-the-counter pain medication. A child can use cushioned heel lifts for temporary relief from the pain. With treatment and time off, a child can return to sports and athletic activities in three to six weeks.
Achilles tendonitis is common in children who experience a sudden increase in physical activity. This sports injury rears its ugly head a few weeks into a new season of sports with such symptoms as a searing pain in the back of the foot.
The Achilles tendon connects two calf muscles to the heel bone. It aids in pushing the foot forward while running or walking. When this tendon becomes inflamed, it can cause the back of the foot to swell and can make it difficult to walk. Children who partake in repetitive physical activities, such as jumping or running, are at an elevated risk of this foot ailment.
Treating Achilles tendonitis requires rest, compression, ice, and elevation. Use medical tape or an elastic wrap to decrease swelling and provide the tendon with support until the inflammation passes. Give your child ibuprofen for discomfort and swelling.
Avoiding Heel and Foot Pain
To avoid heel and foot pain, children should always wear proper supportive shoes. If there is a specific type of shoe a child should wear for a specific sport, make sure your child wears it.
Continuing a sport or repetitive physical activity can aggravate the issue and make it worse. Without treatment, some heel and foot problems – such as Achilles tendonitis or plantar fasciitis – can become chronic. Chronic foot problems result in pain during daily physical activities including walking.
While ice, compression, elevation, and over-the-counter pain medication are recommended courses of treatment for any type of heel or foot pain, you must schedule an appointment with a medical professional. Your child only has one set of feet; do everything you can to protect them.