Posted on: 3 July 2017
Children are extremely resilient and can bounce back from a fall or even an injury (sometimes a serious one). As such, when they come to you with a complaint of heel pain, you may be inclined to assume that it will just resolve itself on its own. But if your child continues to complain to you for several days or weeks about pain in one or both of their heels, you might wonder what you can do to help your child with their heel pain. Get to know some of the steps you should take to care for your child when they are complaining about chronic heel pain so you can be sure you are doing everything possible to make them feel better.
Contact a Podiatrist
While your child's general pediatrician may be able to help with some health issues they experience, when their pain is localized to their feet and heels, the best bet is to work directly with a podiatrist. Podiatrists are specialists in the feet and ankles, meaning that they can hone in on what is causing your child's heel pain and provide the necessary care and treatment to remedy it.
Oftentimes, much of what podiatrists do in terms of diagnosis has to do with the events surrounding the initial moment in which the pain started. They will ask you and your child about when their pain started, how the pain feels (i.e. the severity of the pain, whether it feels like burning, aching, or another type of pain, etc...). This can help to narrow down whether the heel pain is due to an acute injury like a fracture or an issue like plantar fasciitis or calcaneal apophysitis which can occur due to overuse and chronic inflammation.
Encourage Your Child to Always Wear Shoes When Outside
Children are usually in such a hurry to get outside and play or to get to where they are going that their shoes become an afterthought if they even think about them at all. However, no matter what the podiatrist's diagnosis is, wearing supportive shoes at all times (or at least at all times outside of the house) can help to alleviate and reduce pain and discomfort.
This can be a tough battle to fight with your child, but is to their benefit. Try to make it a habit to keep a pair of their shoes by all entrances and exits of your house so they are immediately available when your child wants to go outside. This will keep shoes in the forefront of their mind and help you to better keep shoes on your child's feet as much as possible.
Have Them Take a Break from Sports
Having your child involved in sports is a great way to keep them active as well as help them socialize with other children. If your child is involved in any sports, it would be a good idea to have them take a break from practices and competitions while they are dealing with their heel pain.
Most causes of childhood heel pain are from chronic use and overuse. Other conditions that may have to do with developmental abnormalities or problems with skeletal alignment can be exasperated by continued strain. As such, you will want to have your child take a break from sports participation for at least a few weeks. Sports like ballet, soccer, and basketball are especially strenuous on the heels but virtually any sport can cause some strain on the feet and heels.
By taking these steps, you will be able to better help your child with their heel pain and get them back to running around and acting like normal as soon as possible.Share