Sever’s Disease – What is it?
Sever’s disease, also referred to as calcaneal apophysitis, is a condition in which the heel of a foot is painful and swollen. It can cause issues with walking and running. Sever’s disease often affects children between the ages of seven and fourteen, particularly very active children who play many sports.
Overuse of the heel, often triggered by sports and similar activities, occurs with excess pressure. Running and jumping cause stress on the feet and heels, which can lead to an inflamed growth plate that may be painful. The growth plate is a part of cartilage where bone growth happens in the heel. The Achilles tendon attaches the calf muscle to this part of the heel, but as bones often form quicker than tendons, the Achilles tendon may become tight. This is what aggravates the growth plate and causes pain and swelling. Sever’s disease is common during growth spurts and puberty.
Sever’s Disease – Symptoms
Sever’s disease can affect one or both heels. If you are concerned that your child may have this condition, here are some signs to look out for:
- Gradually developing pain underneath the heel
- Pain and discomfort when running, jumping and even walking
- Swollen or red heels
- Parts of the heel that are sensitive to touch
- Limping or walking on toes
Sever’s Disease – Treatment
If you suspect your child may be suffering from Sever’s disease, you should contact a podiatry specialist, such as Louisa Seymour podiatry.
Treatments for this condition include:
- Ice packs applied to the area
- Anti-inflammatory medication to reduce the pain and swelling
- Resting the foot/feet and avoiding high impact activities until it improves
- Foot stretches
- Strengthening exercises
- Heel support
- Correct footwear (particularly for sports) that is comfortable and the right size
Sever’s Disease – Prevention
Prevention is always the best solution. Regularly assessing the foot health of growing children can help to prevent the risk of Sever’s disease. You should also ensure that your child wears comfortable, supportive shoes that are the right fit. High impact sports should be played using sports shoes designed to absorb the impact and take the pressure off of the feet. Do not ignore any of the above warning signs, and contact a podiatrist if anything arises.
Contact Louisa Seymour Podiatry on 01277 266870.