Severs disease (also known as calcaneal apophysitis) is the most common cause of heel pain in children aged from 7-16 years old, with it more often than not seen in more boys than girls. It usually occurs in children who play a lot of sport is due to overuse and repetitive micro-rauma of growth plates of the calcaneus in the heel.
What are the symptoms of severs?
- Pain and tenderness in or around the heels
- Pain usually after periods of prolonged exercise, e.g. after a game or training session.
- Limping/ Inc difficulty walking
- Gradual onset
- Relived by rest
- Swelling around the heel
- Pain when the ankle is dorsiflexed (pushed back)
- Pain on palpation
What causes severs?
- As it is an overuse injury, it is directly related to children who play a lot of sport
- The start of a new season
- If the child is overweight
- Children who overpronate (overpronating refers to anyone with a slightly dropped arch)
- In more than half of patients severs occurs in both heels
Severs Disease Treatment?
- R.I.C.E. (Rest Ice Compression Elevation)
- Stretching calves and hamstrings ideally twice a day morning and night. Hold the stretch for longer than 35 seconds, repeat that 5 times.
- Ibuprofen gel (always read the label following instructions)
- Foot Orthotics– dependant on the foot structure and usually if the child pronates then foot orthoses would be beneficial, to prevent excessive forces going through the joints and tendons in the heel. Orthotics prevent abnormal forces from going through the foot.
What can I do to prevent Severs?
- Children with severs usually find that in time the pain will go away on its own when there is a break from physical activity or when the bone is finished growing.
- Maintain good flexibility, spend a little bit of extra time stretching after a game or training session
- Avoid running on hard surfaces and try and keep to grass
- Wear good quality fitting shoes with firm support and cushioning and support
Please don’t hesitate to give us a call on 01403 276 272 or contact us to discuss any problems your son or daughter may be having.