As a mother of two VERY active teenagers, I know about those “growing pains” and sports-related injuries. While we can do a lot to help our kids prevent injuries, we can’t do much to speed up the natural development of their biomechanics. This is why growing teens are especially susceptible to Sever’s Disease.
What is Sever’s Disease?
Sometimes, Sever’s Disease is mistaken for Plantar Fasciitis, but it’s a different condition that also pains the feet. Sever’s Disease (Calcaneal Apophysitis) is painful inflammation of the heel’s growth plate. It often affects kids between the ages of 8 and 14. These are the years before the heel bone is fully developed. Before the growth plate fuses, new bone is forming. This creates a weak point at the back of the heel.
What causes Sever’s Disease?
Repetitive stress, especially in younger athletes, can cause irritation and chronic inflammation. Often there is pain with physical activity. Obesity, tight Achilles tendons, tight calves, and feet abnormalities can also cause Sever’s Disease.
What are the symptoms of Sever’s Disease?
- Pain in the bottom or back of the heel
- Pain with walking, running, or other physical activity
- Pain with compression of the heel on both sides
How do you diagnose Sever’s Disease?
Here at Golden Chiropractic, I’ll ask questions about your child’s symptoms. I’ll also conduct a physical examination. I may refer you for an x-ray or MRI.
How do you treat Sever’s Disease?
If I diagnose a patient with Sever’s Disease, I may —
- Prescribe reduced or modified physical activity
- Suggest heel support with gel inserts
- Teach you how to properly use kinesiology tape
- Prescribe mobility and stability exercises to reduce tension and strengthen muscles
- Suggest immobilization for severe cases
How can I treat Sever’s Disease at home?
- I can teach you to strengthen your lower body and foot muscles
- You may need to lose weight, and I can advise you on that
- Since Sever’s Disease is most common in single-sport athletes, you may try adding other forms of physical activity
- Rest. Eat healthy food. Take the time to heal your heels!
If you suspect Sever’s Disease based on the symptoms listed above, make an appointment. I’ll be happy to help you get an accurate diagnosis and develop a non-invasive treatment plan to get you back on your feet.