Severs disease is a condition characterized by painful heels in children most commonly between the years of 10-12 years. There is pain and discomfort with repeated or excessive activity at the insertion of the Achilles tendon causing inflammation of the growth plate of the heel (calcaneus).
Children may begin to complain of heel pain that worsens when walking, running or jumping. Pain may present immediately following an increase in activity or after a growth spurt. Diagnosis will require physical examination where by the podiatrist may replicate the pain by gently squeezing both sides of the child’s heel. Medical imaging such as x-rays is not usually necessarily for diagnosing Sever’s disease.
Severs disease is a self-limiting disorder that will go away on it’s own as the skeletal system completes growth, however it can be quite painful and this may impact a child’s activity levels and growth and gait patterns. In order to prevent any long-term issues, custom orthotics combined with appropriate stretching and footwear advice may be prescribed. Temporary reduction in sporting activities may be required to allow for any pain to settle, with a return to sport afterwards. An abundance of studies have suggested the benefits of properly fitted custom orthotics on providing relief and reduction in pressure and pain on a childs heel by realigning foot posture and reducing the pulling force on the growth plate, allowing for little reduction in a child’s activity and faster return to sport for that child. Talking to your podiatrist for a proper assessment and treatment intervention should allow the child to recover and return to normal mobility sooner rather than later.
About the Author.
Sage Bacolod is one of the podiatrist at Castle Hill Medical Centre. Sage has completed a masters degree in podiatry, graduating from Western Sydney University. Sage has a vested interest in all areas of podiatry with a keen interest in sports podiatry and biomechanics.