A parent should never ignore their child’s complaints about pain in their feet. We never want our children to be in pain, and it is especially important to protect their feet to allow them to remain active. But your child should never play through the pain, as it can lead to difficulty in walking that can require complicated therapy. Your podiatrist is available to help diagnose your child’s foot troubles, while also providing the best care possible to get them on their feet and running around again.
Heel pain is a common childhood complaint, but that doesn’t mean it should be ignored, or that you should wait to see if the pain will go away. Heel pain is a symptom, not a disease. In other words, heel pain is a warning sign that a child has a condition that needs attention.
Your child may not know to or be able to articulate to you that they are in pain. Keep in mind that heel pain in children is often associated with these signs and symptoms:
- Walking on toes
- Difficulty participating in usual activities or sports
Treatment from your child’s podiatrist will depend on the diagnosis and the severity of the pain. For mild heel pain, treatment options might include a reduction in activity and cushioning the heel with temporary shoe inserts. For moderate heel pain, in addition to reducing activity and cushioning the heel, your podiatrist might use medications, physical therapy, and orthotic devices. If your child has severe heel pain, immobilization, follow-up measures or surgery might be needed.
Schedule an appointment with your podiatrist if your child is experiencing heel pain of any kind. The cause of the pain isn't likely to disappear on its own, and waiting has the potential of making a small problem into a big one.