At times, parents may chalk their child’s complaints of pain or discomfort up to growing pains. However, at times, these pains may point to a deeper problem. 

Growth spurts in children differ between the sexes. Girls will typically go through puberty from the ages of 8 to 13. For boys, this period of growth occurs between the ages of 10 to 15.

Children going through growth spurts can often be experiencing symptoms of other conditions related to the feet. During these growth spurts, your child’s heel bones are growing more rapidly than the surrounding muscles and tendons in their legs. When this occurs, the ligaments and tendons can be stretched too tight.

If children are involved in sports, the repetitive motions may put additional stress on these ligaments and tendons, which are already inflamed at this period. Read on to learn more about foot pain during growth spurts.

Causes of Foot Pain During Growth Spurts

Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar Fascitis is often the culprit of pain that is localized to the heel. This occurs when the area underneath the foot where the plantar fascia attaches becomes inflamed. If your child has flat feet or high arches, they may be more prone to developing plantar fasciitis. They may complain of heel pain in the morning or soon after they have engaged in physical activity.

Achilles Tendonitis 

Achilles tendonitis develops from strain on the Achilles tendon. When the calf muscles tighten during a growth spurt, the further strain is put on the tendon. 

Children may experience additional discomfort after activity and feel pain in the morning. 


Repetitive motions in the foot can cause your child to develop bursitis. In bursitis, the sac between your joints, or the bursa, becomes inflamed, causing pain and discomfort. 

Depending on which joint is inflamed, the symptoms can differ. Typically their joins will feel stiff, swell, and be quite painful. There may also be discoloration or redness around the area. 

Calcaneal Apophysitis 

The calcaneus, or heel bone, has an area towards the rear of the heel bone where bone growth normally occurs. The Achilles tendon attaches here. When this tendon is stretched too tight, it can cause pain and discomfort in the heel. 

Calcaneal Apophysitis is also known as Sever’s Disease. This condition will generally occur in children between the ages of 7 to 14. 

Children that are involved in sports that include repeated jumping and sprinting may suffer more pain due to the added stress on the tendon. 

Possible Treatment for Children With Foot Pain

Once our doctors have examined your child’s foot and a diagnosis is made, treatment can begin. Your doctor may advise you to rest and to perform stretches to help improve the flexibility of the foot. These stretches may also work to strengthen muscles in the foot.

If their footwear does not provide the proper support, your doctor may encourage the use of insoles or a change in footwear entirely.

See a Podiatrist Today

If your child has been experiencing heel or general foot pain during growth spurts, make an appointment to visit our Canyon Oaks office. Fill out the form below to get in touch with our office. A member of our staff will be in touch with you within one business day. 

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