Pediatric heel pain is a common problem that affects both children and teens. Even though it typically isn’t serious, it’s critical to determine the underlying cause. At Ankle & Foot Doctors of New Jersey, serving people throughout Millburn, Livingston, Union, Springfield, Florham Park, Short Hills, West Orange, Maplewood, and Summit, New Jersey, Jay Bhuta, DPM, and the team provide comprehensive care for pediatric heel pain. To find relief for your child, book an appointment online, or call the office to speak with a staff member today.
Pediatric heel pain refers to any aching, discomfort, or swelling that affects the area of the foot directly beneath your child’s ankle.
If your son or daughter regularly experiences inflammation or tenderness that affects the heel, or they frequently limp, it’s important to seek professional help. Ignoring these symptoms could result in a more severe injury or lasting damage.
At Ankle & Foot Doctors of New Jersey, Dr. Bhuta treats pediatric heel pain caused by various conditions, including:
Sever’s disease is the number one cause of heel pain in active children between the ages of 5-11. It’s an overuse injury that occurs due to repetitive trauma while running or playing sports. Common symptoms include warmth, swelling, and tenderness at the back of the heel.
Plantar fasciitis is an overuse injury that causes small tears to form in the plantar fascia, a ligament that runs from the toes to the heel. Symptoms are typically mild at first but get worse over time. Risk factors for plantar fasciitis include standing for long periods, wearing shoes that provide inadequate support, and sports that involve jumping or running.
Achilles tendonitis causes the Achilles tendon to become irritated and inflamed. Over time, this results in pain, warmth, and swelling at the back of the foot. Achilles tendonitis is especially common in young athletes who perform repetitive motions like jumping, dancing, or running.
Fractures cause significant damage to one (or multiple) bones. Symptoms include severe pain, swelling, bruising, and the inability to place weight on the affected foot. Any child can experience a fracture, but they’re especially common in those who play high impact sports like hockey or American football.
Unfortunately, there’s no way to prevent pediatric heel pain entirely, but there are steps you can take to significantly lower your child’s risk. Dr. Bhuta recommends:
It’s also important for your child to listen to their body. If they experience any swelling, pain, or sensitivity, encourage them to take a break instead of pushing through the discomfort.
If your child regularly experiences pediatric heel pain, request a consultation at Ankle & Foot Doctors of New Jersey. Call the office and speak with a staff member to schedule an appointment or book online.