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Sever's Disease, Understanding, Treating, and Preventing Heel Pain in Growing Kids

Sever's Disease, a common cause of heel pain in growing children, can be a concern for parents and caregivers. In this blog post, we'll delve into the details of Sever's Disease, covering its causes, symptoms, and effective treatments. Whether you're a concerned parent or someone searching for information on this topic, read on to discover valuable insights into managing Sever's Disease and promoting your child's foot health.

What is Sever's Disease?

Sever's Disease, also known as calcaneal apophysitis, is not an actual disease but rather an inflammation of the growth plate in the heel. This condition commonly affects active children and adolescents, especially those engaged in sports that involve running and jumping. The growth plate, still in the development stage, becomes irritated due to repetitive stress, leading to heel pain. As we approach warmer weather and the start of spring sports season, this becomes a common condition we see in our office.

Key Symptoms of Sever's Disease:

Recognizing the symptoms of Sever's Disease is crucial for early intervention. Look out for:

  1. Heel Pain: Typically located at the back and bottom of the heel.

  2. Worsening Pain with Activity: Pain intensifies during or after sports participation.

  3. Swelling and Redness: Inflammation around the heel area.

Diagnosing Sever's Disease:

If you suspect Sever's Disease, consult with a podiatrist for a comprehensive diagnosis. They may perform:

  1. Physical Examination: Assessing the child's foot and gait.

  2. Medical History Review: Inquiring about recent activities and pain patterns.

  3. Imaging Tests: X-rays to rule out other potential causes.

Effective Treatment Options:

Understanding the treatment options is vital for managing Sever's Disease. Consider the following:

  1. Rest and Activity Modification:

  • Reduce high-impact activities.

  • Encourage rest to allow the growth plate to heal.

  1. Ice and Anti-Inflammatory Medications:

  • Apply ice to alleviate pain and reduce inflammation.

  • Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications, under professional guidance.

  1. Supportive Footwear and Orthotics:

  • Ensure your child wears well-cushioned shoes with proper arch support.

  • Orthotic inserts can provide additional support and comfort.

  1. Physical Therapy:

  • Strengthening exercises to improve foot and ankle stability.

  • Flexibility exercises to reduce stress on the growth plate.

Prevention Tips for Sever's Disease:

  1. Proper Footwear:

  • Choose shoes with good arch support and cushioning. Heel and Toe Podiatry can provide guidance.

  • Ensure a proper fit to avoid unnecessary pressure on the heels.

  1. Gradual Activity Increase:

  • Avoid sudden increases in physical activity.

  • Implement gradual training routines.

  1. Regular Stretching:

  • Incorporate calf and hamstring stretches into daily activities.

In Conclusion:

Sever's Disease may be a temporary concern, but proactive management is key to a speedy recovery. If your child experiences persistent heel pain, seeking professional advice is essential. By understanding the causes, symptoms, and effective treatments, you can actively contribute to your child's foot health and overall well-being. For personalized guidance, give us a call.

Your Local Perrysburg Podiatrist: R. Scott Johnston DPM

Call: 419-474-7700

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