Is your child experiencing foot pain or irritation? Young athletes and active children are at risk for developing growing pains in their feet, referred to as Sever’s disease. These growing pains aren’t visible and make determining the source of the pain quite difficult. We’d like for parents and children to breathe a sigh of relief. Help is available.
What is This Disease?
Growing pains are very common among physically active children ages 9 to 14. These growing pains or bone disorders are only temporary and have no long-term effects. Sever’s disease, also known as calcaneal apophysitis, is a painful swelling and inflammation of the growth plate in the heel.
What Causes Sever’s Disease?
With early puberty, the growth plate at the end of the heel develops, transforming cartilage cells into bone cells. This painful heel condition occurs during these growth spurts, when the heel bone grows more rapidly than the muscles and tendons of the leg. The discrepancy between rates of development causes excess pressure and tension to be placed upon the heel and it becomes less flexible.
This condition affects active children the most. Due to the amount of exercise, more stress is placed upon the tendons which in turn causes more damage to the growth plate. The bone plates fully mature and harden by the time a child reaches the age of 15.
What are the Symptoms?
If your child is suffering from this disease they will be experiencing pain and tenderness in the back of their foot. This soreness can also extend to the sides of the feet. Other sure signs of this disorder include swelling and sensitivity to touch. Because of the amount of discomfort, your child may find it difficult to walk or run. Pay attention to the way your child is walking. If you notice unusual posture or abnormal gait they may be avoiding placing pressure on the heel.
These symptoms typically become apparent during activity and exercise or directly following it. If your child is indicating pain in their heel, schedule an appointment with us today.
How is Children’s Heel Pain Treated?
The simplest form of treatment is rest. Symptoms usually peak during activity. If the growth plate of the heel is allowed ample rest time and the amount of pressure is reduced, circumstances will improve. To aid in decreasing pain and swelling, wrap the heel with an ice pack. Your podiatrists at Advanced Foot & Ankle of Arizona will provide you with the perfect guide to recovery.
After examination of the affected foot, time taken off from physical activity may be recommended. Stretching exercises and physical therapy will help strengthen the tendons and muscles surrounding the growth plate.
Don’t encourage your children to play through the pain. Pain is a sign that something is afoot. The Advanced Foot & Ankle specialists of Arizona want your children to play and remain healthy. For many children this disease is inescapable and time off is necessary. Let us help with the healing process.