One of the most common podiatric conditions children experience is Pediatric Heel Pain. Just as the name suggests, Pediatric Heel Pain is pain located in the heel experienced by children. Pediatric Heel Pain differs from the heel pain adults can experience in the way the pain occurs. Plantar fasciitis, the most common heel pain experienced by adults, is characterized by intense pain first thing in the morning while getting out of bed, or after sitting for long periods, but then the pain subsides after walking around a bit. Pediatric Heel Pain usually does not improve in this manner. In fact, walking actually worsens the pain in children.
A great way to treat heel pain, regardless of the patient’s age, is with inserts. There are 3 different levels of inserts:
- Level 1: Over the counter insert - just cushions the foot
- Level 2: Medical grade inserts - supports the foot
- Level 3: Custom orthotics - changes the way you walk
Custom orthotics provides the cushion support of the lesser level inserts, but actually make you walk the right way. Orthotics properly modifies the body’s alignment including hips, knees, and shoulders, often eliminating whole body pain. Orthotics decrease pain by changing the way forces act on the foot - they change the way the front and back of the foot relate to each other.
Until recently, even if a child was prescribed custom orthotics, parents would frequently decline the physician’s advice - and understandably so! Look out for our next Pediatric Heel Pain Blog- Pediatric Heel Pain Part 2 - to learn not only why parents aren’t following the doctor’s orders and getting custom orthotics for their children AND how HFAA is fixing this problem!