Has your child been complaining about heel pain? Have you noticed him or her limping, favoring a foot, or even walking more on their tiptoes lately? If so, your child may be experiencing Sever’s disease, one of the most common sources of heel pain for young people.
What is Sever’s Disease?
Also known as calcaneal apophysitis, which is a fancy way of saying “painful inflammation of the heel,” Sever’s disease is a source of pain that occurs in growing children and adolescents. More specifically, it is the inflammation of the heel’s growth plate.
What Causes Sever’s Disease?
Two major factors are to blame, usually: repetitive stress to the heel from sports and activities, and growth spurts during puberty. At this crucial point in a child’s life, the muscles, bones, and tendons in the feet are growing and changing rapidly. Sometimes the muscles and tendons will become tight and will pull on the heel’s growth plate, leading to Sever’s disease.
Who is Affected by Sever’s Disease?
This affliction only troubles children and adolescents. They may be at an increased risk of experiencing Sever’s disease if they participate in sports or if they tend to wear very flat shoes.
What are the Symptoms of Sever’s Disease?
Usually, the symptoms of Sever’s disease include heel pain, tenderness, and swelling at the heel. Sometimes children may experience stiffness in their feet or heels upon waking. Your child may experience these symptoms in one or both heels.
How is Sever’s Disease Treated?
Fortunately, this type of heel pain can be treated with a few simple measures. Your podiatrist will focus on reducing the pain and swelling in your child’s heels. That means over-the-counter pain relievers to decrease the swelling and limiting exercise and sports activities until the pain is gone. This period of rest may sometimes last for several months. Your child may also need to undergo strength conditioning, do certain stretching exercises for their Achilles, and wear heel pads in their sports shoes. Orthotics can also help your child heal from Sever’s disease.
Will Sever’s Disease Come Back?
While it isn’t unusual for this heel pain to recur, it will not return once your child is fully grown and the growth plates have matured into solid bone. In order to prevent Sever’s disease from recurring, your child should wear well-fitting shoes with padded soles, stretch before and after physical activity, and ice their heels after engaging in sports.
The Experts at The Foot & Ankle Center Can Heal Sever’s Disease If your child is experiencing heel pain, don’t wait. Make an appointment with your friends at The Foot & Ankle Center by calling (314) 487-9300. We can determine if your child has Sever’s disease or a completely different foot problem and get them on the road to recovery!