Sometimes it’s hard to know what kind of pain your child is really feeling when they say their foot hurts. Usually if your child is consistently telling you about pain in a specific area it can be attributed to some ailment and it should be treated by a podiatrist. There are many foot conditions that children can face such as flat feet, ingrown toenails, and plantar warts. One foot condition that you may have not have heard of, but is very common is called Sever’s disease. This is when the growth plate located at the back of the heel becomes inflamed causing pain. The heel bone (known as the calcaneus) grows much quicker than the surrounding muscles, ligaments and tendons which causes a lot of strain and stretching on the muscles and tendons.
Sever’s Disease is more common in boys and can affect all children, but is especially common in those who are very active in sports. If your child has been complaining of heel pain, you have noticed them limping, or the surrounding area is red and swollen, and or tender to the touch make sure to see your local podiatrist just to make sure there is nothing else wrong. In the meantime here are some things your child can do to help with the pain and discomfort.
- Take a break from sports or cut down their activity level. This might be hard for your child, but if they want the pain to go away, the best thing they can do is rest. Sever’s disease doesn’t last forever since it only happens while children are going through growth spurts. Remind your child that they will be able to get back into their favorite sport soon enough after some time off.
- Ice the area a couple times a day as well as taking anti-inflammatory drugs to help with the inflammation.
- Have your child wear shoes that will support their feet and are very comfortable. We love Asics for their comfort and there are plenty of fun colors and styles that your child is sure to love.
- Stretching the foot and ankle will help with muscles tightness. Have your child stretch twice a day.
- Wearing orthotics can help align the foot and support your feet which helps decrease some of the forces on the heel. See your local podiatrist to have your child's foot casted for custom fit orthotics.
-Lastly, don’t worry! Usually Sever’s Disease only lasts a couple months and typically doesn’t require anything more than rest.
Since your child’s foot is always changing and growing it is important to check their feet often. At Southern Oregon Foot & Ankle, LLC your child’s foot health is a top priority for us. If your child is suffering from any kind of foot pain come and see Dr. Evan Merrill today. Call us at 541-776-3338 or make an appointment by filling out our online form.