Pain in the heel of a child's foot, typically brought on by some form of injury or trauma, is sometimes Sever's Disease. The disease often mimics Achilles tendonitis, an inflammation of the tendon
attached to the back of the heel. A tight Achilles tendon may contribute to Sever's Disease by pulling excessively on the growth plate of the heel bone. This condition is most common in younger
children and is frequently seen in the active soccer, football or baseball player. Sport shoes with cleats are also known to aggravate the condition. Treatment includes calf muscle stretching
exercises, heel cushions in the shoes, and/or anti-inflammatory medications. Consult your physician before taking any medications.
There are a number of possible causes for a child's heel pain. Because diagnosis can be challenging, a foot and ankle surgeon is best qualified to determine the underlying cause of the pain and
develop an effective treatment plan. Sever's disease, also known as calcaneal apophysitis, is by far the most common cause of heel pain in children. Other causes of heel pain include tendo-achilles
bursitis, other overuse injuries, and fractures.
Pain in the bottom surface and at the back of the heel. Extreme pain when the child places their heel on the ground. The pain is aggravated when running or jumping on hard surfaces. The pain is
reduced when the child walks or runs on their toes.
Your Podiatrist or Physiotherapist will assist in diagnosing the injury and the extent of the damage. From this, they will develop a management plan which may include rest or activity modification,
soft tissue treatment such as massage and stretching, correction of biomechanics through heel raises or orthoses and the progression through a series of specific strengthening exercises.
Non Surgical Treatment
The primary method of treating Sever?s disease is taking time off from sports and other physical activities to alleviate the pressure on the heel bone. During the healing period, your child?s doctor
may also recommend physical therapy or any type of exercise that involves stretching and strengthen leg muscles and tendons. Wrapping ice in a towel and placing it under the child?s heel will also
help to alleviate and reduce pain and swelling.
As with all overuse injuries, it is important to warm up sufficiently before you exercise and warm down afterwards. You should build up any alterations in the intensity of your training gradually,
and never continue exercising with weakened or fatigued muscles. Replace any worn or tattered shoes, as in this condition they become useless for absorbing shock and protecting the feet.