Foot Pain in Children: Causes and Treatment

Foot Pain in Children: Causes and Treatment

Childrens Foot Pain


Children’s feet undergo significant changes and growth during their developmental years. As they grow, their feet may experience aches and pains, which can be a cause of concern for parents.

In this article, we will explore the factors that contribute to the development of foot pain in children and discuss effective measures that can be employed to alleviate discomfort and promote healthy foot development.

Children's feet change shape which can bring about growing pains.

Understanding the anatomy of growing feet

A child’s foot is different from that of an adult. During growth spurts, specific structures of the foot and going through changes in shape, size, and composition. Structures include bones, muscles, tendons, joints, and ligaments.

Children have softer and more pliable bones compared to adults, so, they are more susceptible to deformities and injuries. Thus, it is important to correct any foot problems prior to full maturity to avoid lifelong foot problems. Children also typically have flatter feet. As they grow, the arches gradually raise and develop, taking on their adult shape.

Sever’s disease and foot pain

Sever’s disease is a common condition that causes heel pain in children. It is not actually a disease but rather an overuse injury that affects the growth plate of the heel bone (calcaneus).

The growth place is responsible for the bone’s elongation as it widens on either end. When a child is going through a growth spurt, the muscles in their legs may not be able to adjust to the increased bone length and, as a result, these muscles become tighter and exert more pressure on their attachments. Repetitive stress and tension, brought about by physical activities (e.g. running or jumping) can further drive inflammation and irritation of the growth plate, leading to discomfort and pain.

If your child has Sever’s disease, they may exhibit a limp during the day. Pain is usually felt at the back of the heel where the Achilles tendon attaches to the heel bone.

Sever's disease is one of the common causes of heel pain in growing children, especially those who play sports or exercise regularly.

Other common causes of foot pain in children

  • Flat feet
  • Ingrown toenails
  • Ankle injury sprains
  • Ill-fitting shoes
  • Bunions

If your child suffers from a foot or lower limb pain, it would be best to seek help from a healthcare professional, such as a podiatrist, who can make a proper diagnosis and offer customized treatment plans.

Addressing foot pain and muscle tightness

When dealing with foot pain and growing pains in children, there are two key factors to consider: foot alignment and muscle tightness.

To address mechanical foot pain and provide relief, a combination of supportive measures is recommended. One effective approach is the use of soft, full-length orthotic insoles specifically designed for children’s feet. Insoles, such as the Ergonyx Kids Sports, support the feet and promote proper alignment. By reducing excessive pronation (inward rolling) of the feet, strain on the muscles and heel can be minimized.

Orthotic shoe inserts can be used to relieve symptoms such as ankle pain and lower limb pain.

Performing strengthening exercises can also play a crucial role in relieving foot pain. Gentle calf stretching, performed three times a day for 30 seconds on each side, can help alleviate muscle tightness. These stretches, paired with orthotic insoles, support the feet and aid in the healing process.

Perform strengthening exercises to promote healthy development, improve overall strength, and support an active lifestyle.

Have some more questions?

If you have any questions or would like to learn more about growing pains, leg pain in children, or orthotics for children please comment below or reach out to us at We would love to hear from you!

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