Sever’s disease is called ‘Calcaneal Apophysitis’ in medical terminology, an inflammation of the growing bone in the heel. The children in the age group of 9 – 14 are most affected with the disease because the heel bone is not completely developed in them. Similar pain is sensed by adults but the cause would be different, which happens due to change in internal structure. It mostly occurs when there is a repeated stress on the heel and only resolves when the bone stopped growing. Heel looks normal because no notice of swelling or redness is appeared, it can only be identified by a physician. Sever’s disease is not actually a disease but a serious heel injury, this type of growing pains is like an old wives’ tale. Fortunately, there are no long-term complications related to Sever’s disease, however, call to the nearest sports injury clinic for better understanding.
Why does it hurt children mostly?
The foot is one of the first body parts to grow fully in humans. This usually occurs in early puberty stage because bones grow fast than muscles and tendons during this time. Hence, muscles and tendons become tight and bones less flexible.
Heel pain is the most prominent symptom. All heel pains are not Sever’s, medicos diagnose it with a squeeze test. X-rays and ultrasounds may not be accurate and confirm the disease most of the times.
- It can be seen in more children who are active or mildly active in sports. If a child started in involving a new sport or activity and suffers from foot pain, it is confirmed that he/she is the victim of heel injury.
- Tenderness or tightness in the back of the heel.
- It gets worse after jumping or running and feels better after rest.
- Trouble walking.
How can it be treated?
As already mentioned, this is not a disease but an injury and it happens at one time or other in a childhood. But there are ways to prevent it by maintaining good flexibility in the child growth.
- Strengthen the muscles by Hamstring and calf muscles exercises helps the child to lower the risk of injury. The stretches should be done for 20 seconds for 2-3 times in a day.
- Keep the child away from wearing stiff, hard sole shoes. Make them a habit of good quality shoes with light sole, shock absorbent and firm support.
- Apply ice of the heel bone for 20 minutes for 3 times in a day. Also try rolling the foot on an ice can or bottle for better relief.
- Sever’s disease can also be caused by over-weight, so if the victim is obsessed help her/him to reduce extra kilos.
- Take the doctor recommended over-the-counter pain relievers.
- One of the best treatment is to rest and avoid running in hard surfaces. If your child suffers with severe pain, consult specialist in joint replacement and sports injury surgery.
The child can go back to the playing area only after heal pain is cured completely, that might take from 2 weeks to 2 months depending on the severity of the complaint.