Sever’s Disease/Children’s Heel Pain

Sever’s Disease/Children’s Heel Pain

With the fall sports season approaching, many kiddos are going through conditioning or finishing up their summer seasons and can notice heel pain.  There are several causes of heel pain in young athletes with the most common being Sever’s Disease or calcaneal apophysitis.

Inflammation of the growth plate of the heel bone can cause discomfort to the heel, mild swelling and difficulty walking.  The condition usually presents itself between the ages of 8 and 14 with a higher incidence in boys than girls. Sever’s Disease is being diagnosed more frequently in girls due to their participating in an increased amount of sports such as soccer, basketball and softball.

There are many factors that can cause an athlete to have calcaneal inflammation. The majority of patients will present with a tight heel cord or a flatfoot.  Treatment should focus helping the biomechanical changes the child is undergoing during maturity.

Rest and anti-inflammatories often help with pain.  Daily icing to the affected heel can help with the initial phase of treatment.   Once the initial inflammation is addressed, treatment should focus on increasing the strength and improving the biomechanical factors that have contributed to the calcaneal inflammation.  Often children respond well to heel lifts in their shoes to offload the Achilles tendon and/or orthotics to control the excess motion of the foot.

If you child has heel pain while participating in sports, do not hesitate to contact us at Worthington Foot & Ankle.  We can help get your child back to the field.