As your child grows up, they may experience some physical growing pains. While this is expected, if the child is in considerable discomfort, it is in your child’s best interest to have the area checked by a skilled doctor.
Let’s talk about some of the main things that can cause pediatric foot pain, and where you can take your child for an efficient medical evaluation and treatment which will help to alleviate the pain – and get them back to enjoying being a kid again.
What Causes Pediatric Foot Pain?
Pediatric foot pain often appears alongside other issues, such as neurological, mechanical, or inflammatory problems.
- Mechanical symptoms include clicking, instability, and popping sounds during or after activities.
- Inflammatory symptoms include stiffness and swelling due to an infection.
- Neurological symptoms include weakness, numbness, or tingling.
A podiatrist who treats pediatric patients will be able to distinguish the specific cause of your child’s foot pain. Once the cause is determined, then a treatment can be formulated and administered, recommended, or prescribed.
Conditions that Cause Foot Pain in Children
Indicators of a foot problem that warrants medical treatment include the abovementioned symptoms, an unsteady or uneven gait, or if the child is refusing to put weight on their feet because of pain.
Some of the conditions that can cause pediatric foot pain include the following:
Children may feel pain in their heels due to pressure on the growth plate in the foot and heel. A growth plate is a section of cartilage between two bones that itself becomes bone during growth.
Sever’s disease will go away naturally as the child develops, as it occurs when there is pounding pressure (as in sports) on the cartilage. You can help to alleviate the pain by helping your child stretch out the Achilles tendon in the back of the lower leg near the heel.
If your child is experiencing foot pain that’s negatively affecting their gait, they may have one or more plantar warts. Plantar warts are small, clumped, and/or grainy growths that are caused by a virus, and they tend to form in the weight-bearing areas of the foot. Pain from a plantar wart manifests whenever your child applies pressure to the foot.
If your child’s feet lack arches, they have flatfoot. This is actually a relatively common issue in very young children. Luckily, this condition is easily identifiable upon birth and can thus be corrected early.
The child may have one of two types of flatfoot: flexible or rigid. The more common type, flexible flatfoot, is when the arch of the foot reappears only when it isn’t bearing any weight. In contrast, a rigid flatfoot is when your child’s foot lacks an arch all of the time.
Clubfoot is a congenital foot malformation that occurs when the foot muscles connecting the bones are too short. This condition thus results in:
- An upside-down-looking foot
- Underdeveloped calf muscles
- The top of the foot arching outward or inward
- A shorter foot (when only one foot is affected)
Experienced Podiatrist for Pediatric Foot Pain
Don’t try to diagnose and treat your child’s foot problems yourself – at Cincinnati Foot & Ankle Care, we are here to help alleviate your child’s foot pain. We have a team of experienced podiatrists, and we have 18 locations across the Cincinnati area for your convenience.