Children who develop heel pain may be checked for Sever’s disease. It is a condition that can affect children and young teenagers who frequently participate in running and jumping activities. Limping may often be the first sign your child may have this condition, as it may help to reduce the heel pain that accompanies Sever’s disease. This affects the growth plate in the heel, and it is a result of the bones growing faster than the muscles and surrounding tissue. It generally happens during a growth spurt, and performing specific stretches and exercises may help to reduce the pain. The heel and calf muscles can be stretched by standing on a step, and lowering the heels one at a time until a gentle stretch is felt. It is important to practice these stretches while in minimal pain, or the inflammation may increase. A towel stretch can be effective for pain reduction in Sever’s disease. This is done by sitting down with the legs out, wrapping a towel lengthwise around the feet, and pulling the toes slowly toward the body. This stretch can be repeated several times after holding for 30 seconds. If you notice your child is favoring one leg over the other, it is suggested that you schedule an appointment with a podiatrist who can effectively diagnose and treat Sever’s disease.
Sever's disease often occurs in children and teens. If your child is experiencing foot or ankle pain, see Matthew McQuaid, DPM from Lake Mendocino Podiatry. Our doctor can treat your child’s foot and ankle needs.
Sever’s disease is also known as calcaneal apophysitis, which is a medical condition that causes heel pain I none or both feet. The disease is known to affect children between the ages of 8 and 14.
Sever’s disease occurs when part of the child’s heel known as the growth plate (calcaneal epiphysis) is attached to the Achilles tendon. This area can suffer injury when the muscles and tendons of the growing foot do not keep pace with bone growth. Therefore, the constant pain which one experiences at the back of the heel will make the child unable to put any weight on the heel. The child is then forced to walk on their toes.
Acute pain – Pain associated with Sever’s disease is usually felt in the heel when the child engages in physical activity such as walking, jumping and or running.
Highly active – Children who are very active are among the most susceptible in experiencing Sever’s disease, because of the stress and tension placed on their feet.