Treat Heel Pain in Children: Parents Avoid Being the Biggest Loser

Child crying

Since 2004, America has watched as everyday people shed pound after pound on the reality show, “The Biggest Loser.” With childhood obesity at the forefront of this country’s health concerns, three teens joined the program last season. Controversy surrounded the decision; however, the show will follow suit this season as well.

Locally, Austin kids can be involved in “The Biggest Loser Run/Walk” on March 30, 2014. Helping your child make healthy decisions about nutrition and exercise can save them from a lifetime of foot and ankle pain. Interestingly, heel pain in children can be impacted by both obesity and an active lifestyle.

Adults and children who are overweight often suffer from pain in the heels due to excess pressure. This can begin a cycle of inactivity and weight gain that is often difficult to escape. However, active children from ages 8 to 14 may suffer from heel pain due to inflammation around their undeveloped growth plates. Known as Sever’s disease, this irritation occurs with the repetitive motion that is common in sports that require jumping and running. Common culprits include baseball, soccer, and basketball.

While you may feel like your child complains at the slightest twinge of pain, never ignore complaints of foot pain. Limping and a decrease in activity often accompanies this condition. While resting the foot may result in temporary relief, as soon as your child begins to run and jump the pain will likely return.

Growing up takes time, but while the growth plates of the heels mature, conservative measures can address your child’s discomfort. Medical devices such as heel cups for the shoes may help guard the heel, especially in athletic cleats. Icing, resting, and stretching are all recommended along with a change to low-impact activities such as swimming or riding a bicycle.

Austin’s sports injury experts are here to help your child’s feet feel great. Dr. Craig H. Thomajan DPM, FACFAS and Dr. Shine John DPM, FACFAS understand the importance of an active childhood. Call Austin Foot and Ankle Specialists today at (512) 328-8900 to get your child back in the game. You can also schedule online.

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Dr. Craig H. Thomajan, DPM, FACFAS, FAENS
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Founder and Managing Partner of Austin Foot and Ankle Specialists
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