Foot pain can prevent children from participating in the activities they love, like sports and playing with their friends. At North Florida Foot & Ankle Specialists in Gainesville and Lake City, Florida, Joshua Epstein, DPM, AACFAS, FACPM, and Sarina Epstein, DPM, AACFAS, offer comprehensive treatment for pediatric foot pain. The sooner you seek treatment for your child’s pediatric foot pain, the more likely they are to experience lasting relief. To learn more, call North Florida Foot & Ankle Specialists today.
What is pediatric foot pain?
Pediatric foot pain often occurs in children with foot deformities and those with active lifestyles. Many children experience the same foot problems as adults, but the frequency and severity of their symptoms may be more apparent. Since children are often active and have more sensitive skin than adults, chronic foot pain can quickly impact their mobility.
What causes pediatric foot pain?
The most common causes of pediatric foot pain that the podiatrists at North Florida Foot & Ankle Specialists treat include:
Flatfoot is a highly common condition in both adults and children that causes total or partial collapse of the arch. If your child has flatfoot, their arch disappears when they stand. Flatfoot can put stress on the foot, leading to pain, tenderness, or cramping in the foot, leg, and knee.
Heel pain in children commonly develops from repeated stress on the heel bone. Since the growth plates are still developing during childhood, too much pressure from running and jumping can cause damage and irritate the surrounding muscles.
A plantar wart is a grainy growth on the bottom of the foot. Since the wart grows on the sole of the foot, it can cause discomfort when your child walks. While anybody can get plantar warts, they’re highly common in adolescents and teens. Unlike warts on the hands, knees, or elbows, plantar warts often sit beneath a thick covering of skin, making them difficult to treat.
An ingrown toenail occurs when the edge of the nail grows into the surrounding skin, causing redness, inflammation, and pain.
How is pediatric foot pain diagnosed?
If your child is experiencing pediatric foot pain, their podiatrist at North Florida Foot & Ankle Specialists can perform a comprehensive exam of their foot structure and mechanics to identify any deformities. They observe how your child stands, sits, and walks to detect these abnormalities.
In addition, the podiatrist may order imaging tests, such as X-rays, to view the foot’s underlying structure.
What are the treatments for pediatric foot pain?
How your child’s podiatrist treats their pediatric foot pain depends on the cause. Common treatments for pediatric foot pain include:
Orthotics are custom-made shoe inserts that mold to the shape of the foot and correct mechanical imbalances. If your child has overly flat or high arches, orthotics can cushion and support their feet.
If overuse from sports and other physical activities is causing foot pain for your child, avoiding prolonged walking and standing may help improve their symptoms.
Building up the muscles in the feet and legs and improving flexibility can help your child’s feet heel while also preventing reinjury.
Investing in well-fitting, high-quality shoes can help improve your child’s foot pain, especially if they have pediatric flatfoot.
When necessary, your child’s podiatrist can correct flatfoot or other issues with surgery.
To learn more about pediatric foot pain, call North Florida Foot & Ankle Specialists now.