Do you observe your toddler stumbling around? Do they complain about heel pain while exercising or afterward? Is it necessary for them to leave the pitch due to the pain? Sever’s disease, commonly known as calcaneal apophysitis, could be the cause. We will go over everything there is to know about this disease, how to manage it, and how to keep your child from being sidelined.
What Exactly Is Sever’s Disease?
Because it is an injury rather than a disease, it is now known as calcaneal apophysitis. For the purposes of this blog, we’ll refer to it as Sever’s because that’s what it’s still known as. It is an inflammation of the heel’s growth plate. A growth plate is a layer of cartilage near the end of a bone where the majority of bone growth occurs in children and teenagers. Because the growth plate is weaker than the rest of the bone, it is more prone to injury.
Sever’s syndrome occurs when the calf muscles and Achilles tendon tighten and pull on the heel’s growth plate, causing discomfort, soreness, and inflammation at the back of the heel. High-impact sports, such as jogging, can irritate and aggravate this area, exacerbating the problem. Children who are overweight and wear ill-fitting shoes are at a higher risk.
How Does Exercise Affect It?
As summer approaches, youngsters are resuming their participation in sports and physical activity. To name a few, football, hurling, and dancing. It’s a competitive but exciting time of year, but the increased level of exercise, especially when youngsters participate in many sports during the week, can lead to injury.
Unfortunately, Sever’s is one of the most frequent heel pain problems in children aged 8 to 13, and it affects boys more than girls. Children and teenagers go through growth spurts, which, when paired with excessive exercise, might result in Sever’s. Muscles, tendons, and bones all grow at varying rates during a growth spurt. As a result, it can occur in people who are less active, albeit sports increase the likelihood of occurrence.
How Is It Handled?
The majority of cases should be resolved with rest. If your child has a severe form of Sever’s, a rest period of up to 8 weeks may be prescribed, which means no stress or activities that could induce a flare up, even even running in your own garden.
Pain and inflammation can be reduced by applying ice for 15 minutes on a regular basis. A healthcare expert may recommend over-the-counter medication. Other methods, such as a change in footwear and a calf and Achilles tendon stretching and strengthening exercise regimen, are particularly effective at relieving discomfort. When the action no longer causes pain, the youngster can normally resume normal activities.
Examine your child’s shoes for worn interiors at the back of the heel, as these might cause irritation. Footwear should have a decent fit – if the footbed (insole/inner) of a shoe is easily removable, it is a good idea to stand on it to verify there is at least a thumbnail between the toes and the end of the footbed.
Laced shoes are preferable since they may be tightened or loosened as needed. Slip-on shoes and shoes that are too large might irritate the back of the heel. Strong, well-made footwear with thicker, shock-absorbing soles and cushioned interiors to the heel area can provide additional comfort and relieve pressure.
Treatment by an Expert
A podiatrist will perform the following procedures during your appointment:
Take a thorough history and rule out any other conditions.
Examine your child’s footwear to ensure it provides adequate support and is appropriate for their activity. It is recommended that they bring their athletic footwear to the appointment for this purpose.
To identify the problem, perform a squeeze test by squeezing each side of the heel.
Determine a timetable for rest based on the severity.
Demonstrate and explain a workout regimen to your child to ensure they are using the proper technique. To guarantee that the exercises are carried out as recommended, a handout or email with the exercises on it is useful to take home from the consultation.
Gel heel pads may be recommended for short-term relief. To avoid a leg length disparity, these should be inserted in each shoe.
Insoles, which can give support as well as pain alleviation, may also be recommended based on the child’s foot posture or alignment.
If the pain is excessively intense and severe, an X-ray may be ordered to rule out a fracture.
Will It Occur Again?
Because the heel development plate continues to expand until about the age of 14, when it transforms to bone, the heel pain may return after the symptoms have resolved. Once this occurs, kids will have outgrown the condition and it will not reoccur.