No parent likes to see their child in pain, especially when it’s chronic or extreme. When your teenager is complaining of pain in one or both of their heels, you may be unsure about whether or not the issue if something that can be treated through home care, or if the heel pain is a sign of something more serious and should be checked out by a podiatrist. In this article, we’ll go through some of the reasons why your teenager might be experiencing heel pain and what can be done about it.
Believe it or not, heel pain in teenagers actually occurs quite frequently (especially if your child is an athlete) and is typically nothing to worry about. The culprit for this pain is a condition called Severs Disease and occurs during or after a growth spurt due to the heel bone grows faster than the ligaments, muscles, and tendons in the feet and legs. Severs Disease virtually always goes away on its own and is treated best by rest, ice packs, NSAIDs, and stretching.
Heel pain can be caused by a number of different reasons other than growing pains, ranging from benign to severe. If your child has spent more time being active recently, then the achiness is most likely from over-exertion and can be cured with simple rest. Also, make sure that they are wearing the correct size and type of shoe. Soreness from being active and pain from wearing improper footwear are the two most common reasons for pain in the heels and can be resolved quickly with proper treatment.
Sustaining a bruise from stepping too hard on an object, while nothing to worry about, can make walking on the heel uncomfortable. Encourage your child to keep off of their feet for a while so as not to further injure their heel. Taking over-the-counter pain relievers always helps, as does a warm, Epsom salt soak.
However, if the heel is swollen and your child experiences excruciating pain and is unable to put weight on it, they might have suffered a fracture. Heel fractures are serious injuries and should be treated by a medical professional immediately. Fractures can be caused by a bad fall or other major trauma, like a car crash, and may require surgery in the extreme.
Usually, the doctor will apply a cast to your child’s injured foot for six to eight weeks to allow the fracture to heel properly, during which they will need crutches. Depending on the severity of the fracture, your child may also require physical therapy sessions.
It’s nerve-wracking as a parent to see your child in any kind of pain, mild or severe. When the pain is something ambiguous like heel pain, where the cause can be anything, you may feel at a loss of what to do. Hopefully, this article helped in knowing what actions to take or not take when your child is hurting. Rest is usually the best option, but always consult a doctor if you feel there might be an underlying cause to your teenager’s pain