WHAT IS SEVER’S DISEASE?
Sever’s is one of the most frequently treated reasons for children’s heel pain. Heel pain is very common in children because of the very nature of their growing feet and legs. In children, the heel bone (the calcaneus) is in two pieces divided by a growth plate. During the ages of 8 – 13 the heel bone ossifies (joins) to become one. This can cause pain around the heel area of either one or both feet in active children.
As children become more active in sport during the growing years, children may complain of pain in one or both heels shortly after running, engaging in sports or even walking.
The pain is centred at the back of, or under the heel. The cause of heel pain in children is usually reported in 8 to 14 year olds.
Children who are sporty, those with feet that roll in (pronation) and those who are experiencing rapid growth spurts are more susceptible to Sever’s disease.
Assessment of a child’s mechanical foot functions, foot posture and shoe wear patterns can assist in diagnosing and treating the condition. Treatments may include:
- Rest and reduction of the activity – this can be a difficult option, as children are normally quite adament in pursuit of their favorite pastimes.
- Over the counter anti-inflammatory drugs – such as ibuprofen (found in Nurofen), to help reduce pain and inflammation.
- Stretching exercises before play – this will often help reduce the stress on the fascia and relieve heel pain in your child.
- Footwear – ensuring your child’s footwear is a best fit and provides appropriate support is important to the foot and leg mechanics.
- Orthotic insoles – orthotics made for children will help support the foot properly, and help prevent over-pronation or improper gait by supporting your child’s foot into a proper biomechanical position.