What to Do When Your Child Has Heel Pain
For better or worse, we sort of come to expect heel pain as adults. (We shouldn’t, because heel pain is not normal at any age, but we digress.) In fairness, as we age, those years of wear and tear are increasingly likely to catch up to us eventually.
When a child has heel pain, though, parents are understandably much more concerned. Kids, of course, are probably even more upset about the fact that they can’t play their favorite sport, get through dance practice, or enjoy the nice late spring / early summer weather without heel pain grinding them to a halt.
Although overuse is a big factor in childhood heel pain just like it is in adults, the pathology is usually different. Whereas adult heel pain usually stems from stretched or torn soft tissues (tendons, ligaments, etc.), kids are more likely to injure the growth plate of the heel bone itself.
So, what should you do when your child has heel pain?
We know it’s tough, but the first step should be having them sit out for a few days and get a chance to rest. If it hurts, stop running on it! Running will only prevent the healing process from occurring and extend the painful symptoms on and on. If your child is healthy enough to take some over-the-counter pain relievers, these can be used as well.
If pain isn’t responding to rest, or keeps coming back after a few days, it’s best to take your child in to see the experts at Family Foot & Ankle Care of Jasper. Don’t worry—this kind of pain almost never requires surgery or other invasive procedures. However, conservative care provided by a podiatrist is often necessary to provide healing and relief in a timely fashion.
Therapies provided may include stretches, physical therapy, orthotic inserts, or if absolutely necessary, a cast or walking boot. Orthotics are a particular specialty of ours, and we offer a good selection of smart, prefabricated insoles for kids that offer many of the benefits of custom orthotics without the added cost or hassle.
If your child is shying away from favorite sports and activities due to aching, painful heels, give us a call today at (812) 481-7200.