Sever's Disease In Kid – Causes, Symptoms & Treatments

Sever's Disease In Kid

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Has your child been having trouble lately while walking? Does your child seem to be in pain each time he tries to put his heel on the ground? Does your child seem uncomfortable or in pain after waking up from sleep? If you answered yes to any of the above questions, it could probably be a case of Sever’s disease in your child.

What Is Sever’s Disease?

Sever disease is also known as calcaneal apophysitis(1). This condition is most likely to affect your child between the ages of eight to fourteen years. It is a type of bone disease in which the growth plate in the lower back of your child’s heel becomes inflamed. This can cause a lot of pain in your child, especially if your child regularly engages in sports or playing.

[ Read: Best Way To Remove Splinter From Child ]

What Causes Sever’s Disease?

The bone of your child’s heel grows faster than the ligaments in your child’s leg. This causes the muscles and the tendons to become stretched and tight. At this age, your chi

ld is going through a growth spurt. Hence the condition is even more common and painful. Your child’s foot is one of the first parts of his body that is growing to its full size. This makes it extra susceptible to this injury. Also, your child’s heel area is still not very flexible. Repeated stress on your child’s Achilles tendon (2) leads to Sever’s disease. Over time, your child could experience constant pressure on the heel cord that is already tight. This can damage the growth plate and also cause inflammation and pain.

What Can Cause Stress On My Child’s Heel Cord That Results In Sever’s Disease?

Your child could be experiencing stress or pressure from sports like basketball and gymnastics that involve a lot of running or jumping on a hard surface. Sometimes, shoes that do not fit your child properly will not be able to provide enough support and padding to your child’s feet, causing pressure. Too much exercising can also cause pressure and stress on your child’s heel. Another common cause is standing for too long.

[ Read: Slipped Capital Femoral Epiphysis In Children ]

What Are The Symptoms Of Sever’s Disease?

One of the first and most common symptoms that your child has Sever’s disease is pain or tenderness in the heels. This could be either in one or both the heels in your child. Your child will usually experience this pain at the back of the heel. Sometimes, though, your child could also complain of the pain to both sides of the heel, as well as at the bottom.

If your child has Sever’s disease, your child will have trouble walking and may need to limp. This will be more common after exercising, playing or running. Your child may also experience stiffness or some discomfort in the feet, especially after waking up. You may also notice swelling or redness on the area around your child’s heel.

[ Read: Jumper’s Knee ]

How Can Sever’s Disease In My Child Be Diagnosed?

Based on the types of symptoms that your child has, Sever’s disease will be diagnosed accordingly (3). Your child’s doctor will first conduct a physical examination of the affected area. This may involve squeezing the different parts of your child’s foot to see where the pain is. Your child’s doctor may also recommend an x-ray to rule out any other injury like a fracture or broken bone.

How Is Sever’s Disease Treated In Children?

One of the first things your child’s doctor will recommend is immediate rest and no playing or exercising. This will help to stop any further pressure on your child’s heel bone.

While your child is in this resting and healing period, the doctor may also recommend a few other steps. These could include a physical therapy session or some form of exercise. These will help your child in stretching and strengthening the muscles of the leg and the tendons.

[ Read: Blount Disease In Children ]

The doctor could also recommend wrapping some ice in a towel and placing it under your child’s heel. This will help reduce the pain and swelling.

Your child may complain of pain in the foot that you often shrug off as tiredness or an after effect of playing. Next time you hear your child complaining of pain, examine your child’s foot and see if there is some improvement after resting. If the symptoms persist even after stopping any rigorous activity for a few days, schedule an appointment with the doctor.

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