Numbness in the Heel: Causes of Foot Pain in Children

Foot pain in children is typically not common and, when present, is associated with an acute health complication. If your child is complaining of pain and numbness in the heel, it is important to seek out pediatric orthopedic medical attention to rule out, or confirm, the complications of nerve involvement.

As a child grows, there are many health issues that may arise especially when there is a large amount of physical activity. For some children, especially those who are extremely physically active, there is a need for pediatric treatment typically to address growing feet and issues with foot pain. Numbness in the heel of the foot is often associated with a nerve impingement which should be addressed by a physician.

Like any other part of the body, when the foot becomes numb in any area, a nerve compression is often to blame. In children who have numbness in the heel, absent any other pain, the nerve impingement may be present in the ankle or down in the arch of the foot. Often, these types of numbing sensations are associated with poor footwear and activity while wearing shoes that do not adequately support your child’s feet.

To treat a health complication involving your child’s numbing sensations in the feet, a pediatrician will want to address any foot abnormalities that may be present and, in some cases, may recommend custom fitting orthotics or other footwear that will help to manage your child’s foot health in the long term. In the short term, rehab or pediatric physical therapy may be recommended and could be something as simple as pediatric yoga or stretching exercises for the feet. Just like the natural use of yoga for tennis elbow, children who need treatment for a nerve impingement in the foot often respond best to more natural treatments.

Pain and numbing sensations in any extremity of a child should not be taken lightly and often need to be addressed by a physician. In children who are very physically active, special footwear is often necessary as nerve impingement in the foot or ankle may lead to pain and abnormal development. Always seek out treatment promptly when your child complains of this type of foot pain and be prepared for the rehab, therapy, and change in footwear your child may need.

Sources: Heel Pain: Healing the Heel, by Stephen Barrett

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