26 answers

9 Year Old Son Has Trouble with His Heels

My nine year-old son has started complaining about his heels hurting. He says that it feels like he has pebbles in his shoes. He has tried to wear different shoes and it doesn't make a difference. Someone suggested growing pains. Has anyone else had this problem and what did you do about it? Is he too young for bone spurs?

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

Hi, I had a friend with this problem and she had to massage her son's feet every morning and some nights to improve circulation and just pay attention to how much he jumps and from how high. And she found specially made shoes for kids with this problem and it was not expensive.

It sounds like plantar facitis (sp?) It can be very painful. I have had it myself. I was able to be diagnosed by my family doctor and then he recommended an orthopedist.
Good luck!

My husband works part-time at Allison's Shoe store in Glen Carbon, IL. The owner does orthotic's in his lab, and he could tell you what is wrong and what could alleviate the problem. He helps lots of people. The store is located next door to Ponderosa in Glen Carbon and the phone number is
###-###-####. I hope that helps.

More Answers

Hi L.,

My (then 11 year old) daughter was having similar problems with her heels last spring when they were doing a lot of running during gym class. It was a little while before I decided that she needed to see the doctor, but I'm glad that we did.

Her pediatrician said it was Sever's disease. He said to have her rest, no running for a while, and had us get some heel supports to rest her achilles tendon. I think he also said to have her take a pain reliever for the pain. These things helped and within a few months there were no more complaints of pain, and none since then either.

From what I remember it is not really a "disease" it is just something that happens sometimes when kids are growing and then it gets aggravated by a new or more strenuous activity.

Here is a link to wikipedia that tells a little more about it and seems similar to what her doctor described to us.


I hope your son feels better soon!

1 mom found this helpful

Hi L.,
First with any advice..."disclaimer" consult you physican :)
I would try a foot roller for your son... You can usually buy them at Bed, bath and beyond, bath and body works...or even garage sales.
First I would have him soak both feet is warm epsom salt water and then roll the feet especially the heel that is bother some. I would do this every evening till it feels better, then maybe once a week...Growing pains are real.
A. D

Unfortunately he's not to young for bone spurs. I have them and they're painful. I was told by several doctors to get a shoe with a really good arch and support. Since it is usually caused by your foot turning to the side while you're walking. Most people don't even know they're doing it. As soon as the arch and support start to degrade, you need to replace them. It's worked for me. And it's alot cheaper than the inserts that are around $300. I hope this helps. Good luck.

Hi, I had a friend with this problem and she had to massage her son's feet every morning and some nights to improve circulation and just pay attention to how much he jumps and from how high. And she found specially made shoes for kids with this problem and it was not expensive.

I had a friend whose daughter constantly complained of aching heels, turned out a she needed arch supports. Check with your pediatrician and see if he thinks you should see a podiatrist.

I also was going to say that this may be related to his arches. I have issues with my arches and this pebble feeling is what it feels like when I don't have the proper support in my shoes. I have to add support even to shoes that supposedly have the arch support already there. I really don't think this would be growing pains necessarily, though whatever problem he is having could definately be brought on by his body growing. I don't know where exactly you are located, but I have a wonderful podiatrist who is located in Lees Summit. Her name is Dr. Laurel Bondi and her husband is a podiatrist as well but I've never seen him. I would definately see someone though because it has to be so painful for your son to feel like this.

Check the arch supports in his shoes. My best friend's daughter had the exact same problem and it had a lot to do with her arches. I have the same trouble in my left foot where my arch is falling from walking and dancing barefoot for so many years. If his shoes don't have good arch supports, buy some from the store and place them in his shoes. Or you may have to get him the more expensive shoes to wear that already have good arch supports in them. That is what my friend had to do. Good luck.

Could he possibly have bone spurs? That would explain the sensation of pebbles in his shoe.

Good luck,

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