Ankle Tendonitis? Flat Feet? My 11 year old son has so much pain in his ankles he can't run
by Concerned Mom
(Pacific Palisades, CA)
My 11 year old son started to complain about ankle pain (in 1 ankle) in July. He was going to a camp beach program where he was running barefoot in the sand. At first, I just thought that he was complaining because it was hard.
But, he loved the program and completed the month and was still complaining and now about both ankles.
I thought that it could have to do with his very flat feet so I took him to the podiatrist in early August and was told that he had tendonitis.
For the month of August he really did not run much, but, would play around (as kids do) and everytime he ran just a little he would start limping and then hoping that is hurt so much.
Once, he started hoping, then the other ankle hurt and then he had trouble walking.
I took him to a pediatric orthopedic in late August and was told again that it was tendonitis.
We have been icing everyday and he is taking advil as well and now started to do little stretches. He can't run at PE and he doesn't want to play with his friends on the weekends because he says he can't run, scooter or even walk sometimes without it hurting.
What can I do to help him?
Very Concerned Mom
I could go with tendonitis. Certainly a Tendonitis dynamic, meaning that there is now a Pain Causing Dynamic in place.
What catches my attention is that he's 11, ran a bunch for a few days, and is now hurting/hurt.
I'm more interested in his physical situation -before- he went running. Something is off that he goes and runs and gets injured to whatever degree he's injured.
So in my mind, the scenario looked like A. or B. or some combination of both.
A. He sits around a lot, plays a lot of video games, etc, such that going to camp and running was -such- an increase in exercise and strain on
his body that structurally he wasn't very tough and got some strain injury.
Rather like a 'Weekend Warrior' dynamic.
B. He has nutrient deficiency of some sort. Magnesium, various Vit B, Vitamin D.
Going with some assumptions about the American lifestyle, even you in southern CA, 1. Our diets lack appropriate nutrition and 2. When he does go outside, (is he?) he is covered with 'protective' clothes and/or sun screen.
Various nutrient deficiencies set a person up for weak structures, and/or more vulnerable to strain/damage, and/or not able to bounce back/heal as fast as one should, etc.
We can certainly deal with the direct situation of pain that isn't going away on a structural tissue level.
And that will go faster or slower depending on the 'fullness' of his body with nutrition.
Oh, and possibly he's short on protein too.
So there's that.
Now, some questions:
1. Where exactly does he hurt? All over the ankles, just spots, up the lower leg, in the foot, etc?
2. How bad, how long? Obviously enough to keep him from running.
3. How 'bad' are his flat feet. Maybe that should be, how flat are his flat feet?
4. Give me an idea of his build. Lean and lanky? Short and stocky?
5. Overall health? History of sickness or physical injury?
6. How exactly are you icing?
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Joshua Tucker, B.A., C.M.T.
The Tendonitis Expert