Children are athletes, daredevils, and the rugged, rough explorers of their environments. As a consequence of this boisterous play and their active lifestyles, it is common for children to have some pain at various times. However, reoccurring heel pain in children may be a sign of something a little more serious.
Also known as calcaneal apophysitis, Sever’s Disease is considered to be one of the most common causes of heel pain for children. It occurs when the growth plate on children between the ages of eight and 14 undergoes stress due to overuse. It can occur in one or both heels.
While it has been named a disease, Sever’s is not a real disease, and children can outgrow this type of pain by the ages of 12 or 14 years when the growth plate completely fuses to the heel bone. Treatments for Sever’s include reduced activity to lessen stress and overuse to the heel area, orthotic devices or shoe inserts for support, and over-the-counter medications like Ibuprofen. Treatments can also include physical therapy to speed and aid in healing and complete immobilization for extreme cases.
Symptoms of Sever’s Disease
One of the main symptoms for Sever’s is a persistent pain in the back or bottom of the heel during and right after a physical activity. Children may also complain of some tenderness in that area. Bruising and swelling are rare.
Other Causes for Heel Pain in Children
While Sever’s is common, there are other conditions or injuries that can lead to heel pain. Among these are rheumatologic disorders, stress fractures in the foot or heel, bone cysts, bursitis, tendonitis, and injuries caused by sports.
When to Consult Your Doctor
Heel pain can create problems for children by reducing mobility, prohibiting a child from participating in sports, and making concentration or participation in class harder than normal. Sever’s and certain other injuries or conditions may not bruise or swell to provide any outward sign that a child is suffering. To obtain a diagnosis, medical advice, or medical treatment, it is necessary to make an appointment to see a doctor.
With three locations and five doctors, Michigan Podiatry is staffed and ready to provide excellent care for the entire family, including busy, active children. Visit them online or call to make an appointment. Michigan Podiatry provides a wide range of services and even offers same-day emergency visit services.