While some fall sports fans may think of winter as a calmer season, any winter sports lover knows the truth: athletics are in full swing. It’s time for basketball and hockey and much more, and the winter Olympics are just around the corner. If your child plays winter sports, you’re well aware that the holidays are done and it’s back to the activities that keep your kiddo up and moving. Like all other sports, winter activities come with risks. Injuries can happen at just about any time, and you can’t protect your child from all accidents. Some problems, like limping from heel pain, however, do not have to sideline your child for the season.

Unlike heel pain in adults, which is often caused by something like plantar fasciitis, children’s heel pain is usually the result of inflammation of the growth plate in the heel bone. Between the ages of about 8 and 14, children’s feet grow rapidly, putting strain on the muscles and connective tissues. Kids who are active during this time period, especially if they play sports, put additional stress on the bones and major tendons in the lower limbs. The more irritated the growth plate becomes, the more uncomfortable your child’s feet feel.

Fortunately, heel pain is generally easy to fix. The RICE model—rest, ice, compression, and elevation—reduces inflammation and allows the tissues to heal. That may mean taking it easy from sports for a short time, which your child may not be happy about, but limping around because of a hurting heel is worse in the long run than missing a few weeks of practice. Also, having the condition monitored by experts like those here at Absolute Foot Care Specialists can help prevent a more serious injury from developing, as well as let you know when it is safe for your son or daughter to jump back in the game.

This winter, don’t let your child play through the pain and then limp around at home. Protect your young athlete now before the problem has a chance to become a more serious injury. If your active child is struggling with foot pain of any kind, don’t wait too long before having it evaluated. Contact Absolute Foot Care Specialists for more information or an appointment by calling (702) 839-2010 or by visiting the website contact page.

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