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Mumsnetters aren't necessarily qualified to help if your child is unwell. If you have any serious medical concerns, we would urge you to consult your GP.

DD 8 has plantar fasciitis what can I do to help her?

(25 Posts)
PrincessHairyMclary Wed 14-Feb-18 11:33:08

DD is 8 she often complained about her feet hurting however as I couldn't drive I just thought it was because we walked a lot. I've been driving for a year and DD is still complaining about her feet.

I took her to the Drs who looked at her foot prodded it a bit then said that it was probably plantar fasciitis as it hurts under her heel and to roll her foot on a tennis ball, buy some heel inserts for her shoes and to give her some ibuprofen if she has running at school. The Dr said it could take months or even years to get better. She is very active and dances a lot but that can be a cause of it so not sure whether to stop her doing that or whether the stretches in ballet etc will help.

What else can I do to help her?

Liverpoolmumof1 Wed 14-Feb-18 12:19:44

To be honest, he had given you the advice that a foot surgeon would give you basically.

The thing to remember is that all the stretching excercises hurt a lot but they really are the only way to help in the long term.

I personally found foot massage twice every day worked well and noticed relief in a couple of weeks. Using the thumbs, apply firm pressure into the arch of the foot, particularly the tendons, and firmly rub upwards. Also, using the heel of your hand, push against the balls of her feet upwards (as if trying to stretch the Achilles) towards the direction of her knee.

If you can’t do the massages all the time then use the drs suggestion of the tennis ball but she has to put firm pressure on it. She could also use a can of food, firmly rolling backwards and forwards.

As a last resort, a foot surgeon may offer injections but they don’t always work.

Hope this helps xx

rememberthetime Wed 14-Feb-18 12:28:00

I have this too. My feet improve if I wear shoes with slight heels so it is constantly stretching out the arch of the foot.

Around an inch is recommended.

Don't allow her to wear those silly ballet type slipper shoes with flat soles - make sure her shoes are built up around the heel and offer excellent support.

And avoid bare feet indoors. I feel better if I wear good shoes all day.

Also exercise to build up her leg, stomach and core muscles can improve posture and help her to walk in a natural way - not favouring her sore feet. Doing this can lead to ankle, knee and back problems.

And yes, it can take months to heal. Although hopefully not for a child.

PlanNumber Wed 14-Feb-18 12:32:10

Plantar Fascitis is incredibly painful and does get better on it's own eventually. Massage is supposed to help, but I can't see I've noticed any real improvement myself. The best thing I've found for some temporary relief is rolling my foot on a frozen water bottle.

However, she's very young to be suffering with it. It doesn't usually appear until people who are on their feet a lot are in their 40s, it's rare even in young distance runners.

TBH, GPs aren't qualified to make these kinds of diagnoses. If at all possible I'd be taking her to a physiotherapist for a second opinion.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Wed 14-Feb-18 12:32:29

She seems pretty young to have PF?

In the long term she needs to strengthen her feet so the PF is out under less pressure. If you Google foot strengthening exercises, you'll find plenty. Also lots of calf / hamstring / glute stretching

PrincessHairyMclary Wed 14-Feb-18 12:36:35

Thank you Liverpoolmum we'll give those massages a try and thanks for the advice rememberthetime.

Worldsworstcook Wed 14-Feb-18 12:39:51

The injections are marvellous, DH has had them. HOWEVER they are so incredibly painful. Consultant once had someone leap from the couch to punch him. But as a last resort they are the dogs bollocks!!

PlanNumber Wed 14-Feb-18 12:42:25

Interesting Wolrsworstcook. The hospital told me I was to young for the injections (I'm 48!!) because they cause long term damage, so if I hope to get back to running, I should avoid them.

My private physio agreed they're to be avoided until you've tried everything else, including 2 years of natural recovery, too.

Baffy Wed 14-Feb-18 12:44:49

My partner found that the only thing that really helped was custom-made insoles and always always wearing supportive shoes.

I agree with a second opinion for the diagnosis, and then do everything you can to seek out someone who can assess her properly in order to make the insoles. (The ones you can buy cheaply or off the shelf are no good for PF imho.)

Notanotheruser111 Wed 14-Feb-18 12:47:21

Like a previous poster mentioned I would look at her legs. I never got any long term relief from traditional plantar fasciitis treatment the tennis ball and shoes ect. but don’t get any pain anymore if I stretch my leg muscles properly.

BusterTheBulldog Wed 14-Feb-18 12:50:02

Physio and NEVER wearing flat shoes has helped for me. I run too, so good quality, supportive trainers with a good heal drop are a must. Touch wood, I have no problems now but I can’t wear flip flops / ballet flats at all.

PrincessHairyMclary Wed 14-Feb-18 12:50:46

I know she's young that's why I asked here because all of the advice online is aimed towards adults and wondered if it would be different for a child.

I took her to the GPs expecting a referall elsewhere TBH the physiotherapists are in the same building as the GP and as she was born with her foot slightly turned in (which they said she would grow out of it which she seemed to without any treatment) and I was concerned it was linked to that. But the Dr assessed her very quickly and said PF was the most likely diagnosis and gave the advice in the OP.

I also thought it might be to do with her growth both her dad and his family and most members of my family are over 6 ft and she is already 148cm but as she hasn't had a big unexpected growth spurt the DR said it probably wasn't that.

DerelictWreck Wed 14-Feb-18 12:51:28

does get better on it's own eventually

Not necessarily - I'm 10 years and counting I'm afraid!

OP she needs to get referred to a physio (the GP really should have done that immediately) who will take her through the stretches etc and then discuss other options like steroid injections.

DerelictWreck Wed 14-Feb-18 12:52:28

but don’t get any pain anymore if I stretch my leg muscles properly.

Agreed - this really helped me! I have insanely tight calf muscles which puts pressure on my feet and my plantar.

PrincessHairyMclary Wed 14-Feb-18 12:53:12

Thank you for all the brilliant advice, I'll look up someone to give a 2nd opinion.

AnyFucker Wed 14-Feb-18 12:54:43

Nobody will consider steroid injections in an 8yo

bluesky Wed 14-Feb-18 13:06:38

It will take a while to heal, but you need to try various things asap, before she gets problems on the other side as she will be using more of her muscles etc on the other side to compensate for the pain.

ALWAYS wear shoes in the house, no barefeet on hard floors.

No ballets/flats. Needs comfy soles, fit flops and birkenstocks are great. Custom made inner soles really helped my son.

Boots also do good inner soles, to keep the foot balanced and in the correct position.

Buy a bottle of tango, empty or drink and then fill with water and freeze. The shape of the bottle is really good to use as a roller under her foot. It keeps massage the area. Ditto tennis ball or one of the spiky pilates balls.

Good exercises can be done on the edge of the stairs. Stand on tip toes on the edge of the step, holding onto hand rail. Raise both feet up and down a few time, then alternate the feet. Then drop both heels and raise, again alternate. Morning and evening.

A physio can do a really good foot massage and get into the right areas deeply, also they can use the ultrasound machine, that really helped me, it breaks up the problem inside the foot.

Rest from PE and Sports for a while, it needs rest and gentle exercise targeted at the foot. Also massaging the calf muscles helps, as if they are tight it pulls on the foot muscles. I used to have to massage my son's calf muscles every morning before he got out of bed. You could feel the knots.

Also check the diagnosis, ie second opinion, that it's not Severs .

physioworks.com.au/injuries-conditions-1/severs-disease

OliviaBenson Wed 14-Feb-18 13:16:57

I came on to say that tight calf muscles can make it work so try and stretch those out too.

OliviaBenson Wed 14-Feb-18 13:17:10

Worse not work!

youarenotkiddingme Wed 14-Feb-18 13:27:09

Turned in foot could be causing pain.
So could a growth spurt - it doesn't have to be sudden growth it can be the height at which they grow. Look up severs disease.

My ds has had years of painful feet. Started off with insoles for collapsed arches - then stretches for tight Achilles, then hamstrings discovered to be cause and his hip locks due to muscle tightness. Now he has contractures if the arms due to muscle spasm and takes baclofen and is waiting to see a neuromuscular disorder surgeon.

I wish at the beginning people had listened when I started saying this isn't normal for an 8yo.

Private physios aren't that expensive £45-60 for an hour initial appointment (obviously cost is relative to financial situation but for private medical care it's cheap!). I'd want them to assess the foot, where the intoeing came from and the whole musculoskeletal set up of DD. Treating PF may just be treating a symptom - it'll never heal properly without the cause being identified.

mamasiz Wed 14-Feb-18 21:17:13

Poor little thing! PF is bloody horrible - I had it for about 2-3 months, caused by walking to work in shoes that weren’t supportive enough. Chiropodist gave me a Pedi Roller - it can even be kept in the freezer for extra cool relief - rover.ebay.com/rover/0/0/0?mpre=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.ebay.co.uk%2Fulk%2Fitm%2F172938432295

I changed my shoes - bought a pair of shoes from Birkenstock and wore a pair of Birkenstock sandals as slippers indoors. Hope she feels much better soon!

youlemming Thu 15-Feb-18 23:09:35

Please ask for a physio referral as I could have almost written your post myself, my DD who is almost 8 has had worsening pain in her heels over a few months, first one but since Christmas it's been both, the GP also said it sounded like PF but that she was too young and sent us to the physio.

Within a few minutes the physio said it was Sever's (I've got a thread on here somewhere) which is where the bones grow faster than the muscles and tendons resulting in strain on the growth plate in the heel.

We are currently on 4 weeks enforced rest from all impact activities including school PE as continued strain while there's inflammation can cause further problems.

We were given stretches to do as her calf muscles are very tight causing her to toe walk and told to use ice and massage on her legs but to avoid pressing on the heel itself.
Heel cups or insoles should help as others have said, to soften the impact when walking.

The hope is that with rest it will settle but she has an open appointment to go back within an 8 week period if we don't see any improvement.

Unfortunately it's something that could reoccur each time she has a growth spurt until the plate fuses between 12 and 15.

TitsNnails Fri 16-Feb-18 14:22:54

I was also going to suggest severs disease. Physio, well fitting shoes with a slight heel, gel heel supports And a really good pair of trainers were how we dealt with it.

carriewintermeadow Fri 16-Feb-18 14:25:16

I have this and the only thing that helped was wearing good insoles. Around the house I wear birkenstocks all the time, I never go bare foot or wear flat ballet pumps.

Papercutsand Fri 16-Feb-18 17:50:00

Just thinking of her age....Nike sliders are very good, I wear them around the house instead of slippers and it does help
Also as others have said making sure she properly stretches the calf muscles (maybe try a bit of yoga, yoga with Adrienne is free on YouTube)

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