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Sever’s Disease (Children’s Heel Pain)

Heel pain in children

What is Sever’s Disease?
Sever’s disease is a painful inflammation in the growth plate area at the back of the calcaneus (heel bone) where the strong Achilles tendon attaches to. It is most common in children between the ages of 10 to 14 years old as the calcaneus does not completely develop till at least age 14

Symptoms

  • Pain  around the Achilles tendon or at the heel
  • Heel pain during physical exercise, with the pain heightening after exercise
  • Swelling on the heel that is tender to touch
  • Stiffness of the calf muscle in the morning
  • Limping and a tendency to tiptoe

 

Cause

  • Physical exercise that stresses the soft tissue and is weight bearing on the legs can worsen the pain
  • Running on hard surfaces
  • Exercising while wearing inappropriate shoes
  • Repeated injury to the bones, muscles and tendons of the feet can accumulate and cause symptoms over time.

Treatment

  • Icing after activity will help reduce inflammation and pain
  • Temporary reduction in sporting activities
  • Stretching and strengthening exercises
  • Strapping or taping is sometimes used during activity
  • Small heel inserts can be worn inside the shoes to reduce the traction pressure off the Achilles tendons
  • Wearing supportive shock absorbing shoes and orthotics can help prevent the symptoms of Sever’s disease from returning.