Foot pain can affect people of all age groups. The following article provides information on the contributing for this type of pain in children.
Foot pain can be caused due to a wide range of reasons. While home remedies might prove beneficial in case of mild to moderate pain, medical intervention becomes necessary if the pain is intolerable or persists longer than expected. Medical assistance might be required in case of a severe injury to the foot/leg or cases wherein the contributing factor for the pain is a chronic medical condition. In such cases, timely treatment is required to lower the risk of long-term damage or disability.
In most cases, pain might arise due to wearing ill-fitting shoes, or shoes that don’t have proper cushioning. While ankle sprain is a common cause, there are other medical conditions which can cause pain in the foot. The most common ones include:
- Achilles tendinitis is a condition that is characterized by the inflammation of the Achilles tendon. This tendon connects the back of the leg to the heel. This is an overuse injury that often affects runners. The repetitive and intense strain on the tendon can cause swelling and pain.
- Bone spurs, which are medically referred to as osteophytes, are bony projections that develop along the edges of bones. Pain is likely to be felt, if they rub against the nerves.
- Children might develop pain in the event of fractures. Foot injuries can also cause a bunion, which is a bump that forms on the bone of the base of the big toe, and pushes against other toes.
- Bursitis refers to the inflammation of the bursa, which is a fluid-filled sac. Such sacs are present in various parts of the body. These help reduce friction between tissues. In case of the foot, bursae can get inflamed at the bottom of the heel, or behind the heel near the attachment of the Achilles tendon. Wearing ill-fitting footwear and running on hard surfaces can make a person susceptible to this condition.
- Corns and calluses could occur due to thickening of the skin at the heel due to continual pressure or friction. The use of ill-fitting shoes might be a contributing factor.
- Children who have flat feet or other postural defects might develop foot pain.
- Children affected by juvenile arthritis could experience pain due to the inflammation of joints in the foot.
- Pain can arise if a toenail grows in, towards the soft flesh of the toe. However, this is more common in adults than in kids.
Pain at night might be more troublesome for children as it might keep them from getting enough sleep. Given their age, they might not be able to tolerate the pain. Generally, doctors advice against the use of over-the-counter painkillers for children. When immediate medical help isn’t available, parents can follow a few measures at home that would help reduce the pain and discomfort.
- Make sure that your child gets ample rest. This would buy some time for the body to heal itself, and keep the problem from aggravating further.
- Application of ice has been a traditional home remedy to reduce pain and swelling. Wrap some ice cubes in a clean towel, and place it on the aching area. The ice should not be applied for more than 20 minutes. Wrap the ice in a thicker towel, if needed.
- Elevating the aching foot at a level that is higher than that of the heart also helps in reducing the swelling (if any) and the pain.
Do follow the aforementioned remedies. If the pain persists, do not hesitate to visit a doctor.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a medical expert.