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How to Detect and Address Heel Pain in Children

 

Kids’ feet aren’t supposed to hurt! That’s only for us adults who have a few decades of wear and tear on our bodies, right?

Unfortunately, wrong. Although kids tend to be pretty resilient, they can experience heel pain just like the rest of us. That being said, children’s heel pain is usually different from the types you or I might experience. While kids can get conditions like plantar fasciitis or Achilles tendinitis, they’re more likely to suffer inflammation of the growth plate in the heel bone, which is called Sever’s disease or calcaneal apophysitis. This is particularly true during early adolescence, when kids are growing fast and playing hard on the playground or sports field.

Children's Heel Pain

Of course, the first step toward addressing a case of heel pain in your child is detecting it in the first place. Ideally, your son or daughter will tell you if their feet hurt. Unfortunately, kids aren’t always so forthcoming—especially if they think it might cut into their play time. So keep an eye on your little one. If you notice some labored or ginger walking or running, limping, or sudden withdrawal from activity, ask them what’s up. (You may, if you wish, try gently squeezing the sides of your child’s heel—if it hurts, that’s a good indication of Sever’s disease.)

Once you know your child’s feet hurt, we urge you to take him or her to see Dr. Levine. On the plus side, most cases of heel pain in kids tend to work themselves out within a week or two, using strictly nonsurgical treatment methods. But on the downside, failure to take treatment seriously—and allowing your child to continue aggravating the injury—can lead to long-lasting complications.

Comprehensive treatment for all forms of heel pain, including those common in children and teenagers, is a core mission for the Nevada Heel Pain Center, which has been part of the Absolute Foot Care Specialists since 2003. The standard treatment protocol is rest, with icing or medications to help deal with pain and a series of stretches and exercises to relax tight tendons and muscles. Tougher cases might require special shoes or orthotics, or potentially even temporary use of a walking boot or cast to protect the heel while it heals.

We know your little one won’t be happy about having to cut back on their activities, but they’ll be back to full speed before you know it! To book an appointment with our team, please give us a call today at (702) 839-2010.

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