A child’s foot is a multifaceted arrangement of bones, ligaments, tendons, and muscles undergoing rapid development. The growth plates in the feet and legs will not be fully developed until young adulthood.
A child may sometimes complain of sore ankles or heels during or after sports. Pain in the heel may be caused by Sever’s disease or traction calcaneal apophysis. More often than not, this condition includes inflammation of the heel’s growth plate which can be exacerbated by poor foot posture in walking. It may also be caused by tight muscles and over activity. It is crucially important not to set this aside and dismiss it as a “growing pain.”
Active children will often whine because of pain, not just on the foot itself, but also on the knee, leg, and ankle. Sometimes, they will experience cramps at night during sleep or after a strenuous activity. The problem becomes an annoying circumstance if such conditions become frequent and chronic. Albeit there are other adjacent reasons that can cause such conditions, a lot of adults will just attribute them to mere growing pains. They will go on saying that growing pains are normal to children who are rapidly growing up.
The thing is, growing pains are not “normal.” They need not be endured as a sacrifice for a better lifestyle and comfortable foot and leg movements. As mentioned, the so called growing pains may have underlying causes.
It may be one of the following:
- Growth plate problems in the bones
- Tight muscles or loose ligaments
- Poor foot posture
- Poor walking pattern
- Inappropriate shoes.
We often observe such causes and that is why pain in the foot and lower limb should not be a “normal” part of a child’s growth and development. It is important to have a foot health professional assess your child.