GenHealth Hamilton

Sever’s Disease

Sever’s Disease: Don’t be alarmed, it’s not an actual disease.

Has your child got pain in their heels?

Has your child recently started complaining about sore heels? Are they in pain while playing or after sport? Have you noticed them limping as a result? We might have the answer you are looking for. They may be experiencing Calcaneal Apophysitis. This is also commonly known as Sever’s Disease. But don’t be alarmed, it’s not an actual disease.

Did you know that when your child is born, they aren’t born with all of their foot bones developed? Though, as they begin to grow and get older, they begin to develop and their growth plates will eventually fuse together. Between the ages of around 8-16, inflammation (Sever’s) of the growth plate in their Calcaneus is the most common cause of heel pain. The great news is that Sever’s can be managed conservatively and your child will eventually grow out of it.

What are the causative factors?

  • Foot Posture. If your child has a flatter foot, they are more prone to experiencing Sever’s.
  • Inappropriate Footwear. Shoes with minimal support, no heel or that are too flat.
  • Sudden Increase or Change of Activity. Too Much Too Soon. Common at the beginning of a sporting season.
  • Calf Weakness + Tightness.
  • Increased BMI. This increases the load on you heel bone.
  • Growth Spurts. When your child grows quickly, their Achilles Tendon can become tight + pull on the heel bone.
  • Altered Biomechanics.

What are the symptoms?

  • Redness + Swelling.
  • Limping during and / or after sport.
  • Tippy Toe Walking.
  • Pain with Bare Feet.

What next?

If you are unsure, the best thing you can do is book an appointment with your podiatrist. This will give you peace of mind and allow your child to receive the best care possible. We undertake an extensive medical history and physical examination to rule out any other diagnosis and will give you a holistic treatment plan.

A Podiatrists Role in Treating Sever’s:

  • Footwear Assessment + Modification if Required.
  • Biomechanical Assessment.
  • Heel Lifts to Offload the Achilles Tendon.
  • Prescribe a Strengthening Program.
  • Recommend Activity Modification where Required.
  • Foot Taping.
  • Soft Tissue Massage.
  • Orthotic Intervention.

What can you do at home?

  • Taping (We can give you a printout for guidance).
  • Icing after sport or when aggravated.
  • Encourage your child to be persistence with their exercises.
  • Anti-Inflammatory Cream such as Fisiocreme.
  • Ibuprofen – Check with us before you give them this.

If you are unsure, please be sure to contact one of the friendly podiatrists at Gen Health.

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