Sever?s disease a term used to describe pain in the heel at the base of the Achilles tendon. It usually occurs during or after a growth spurt in adolescence most commonly between the ages of 8-13 in girls and 10-15 for boys. Sever?s disease is more prevalent in children who are physically active. Those with Sever?s disease commonly experience pain during or after sports that involve running and jumping, especially those that take place on hard surfaces.
Your child is most at risk for this condition when he or she is in the early part of the growth spurt in early puberty. Sever's disease is most common in physically active girls 8 years to 10 years of age and in physically active boys 10 years to 12 years of age. Soccer players and gymnasts often get Sever's disease, but children who do any running or jumping activity may also be at an increased risk. Sever's disease rarely occurs in older teenagers because the back of the heel has typically finished growing by 15 years of age.
The main symptom of sever's disease is pain and tenderness at the back of the heel which is made worse with physical activity. Tenderness will be felt especially if you press in or give the back of the heel a squeeze from the sides. There may be a lump over the painful area. Another sign is tight calf muscles resulting with reduced range of motion at the ankle. Pain may go away after a period of rest from sporting activities only to return when the young person goes back to training.
A Podiatrist can easily evaluate your child?s feet, to identify if a problem exists. Through testing the muscular flexibility. If there is a problem, a treatment plan can be create to address the issue. At the initial treatment to control movement or to support the area we may use temporary padding and strapping and depending on how successful the treatment is, a long-term treatment plan will be arranged. This long-term treatment plan may or may not involve heel raises, foot pain and swelling (latishacakmak.weebly.com) supports, muscle strengthening and or stretching.
Non Surgical Treatment
Cold packs: Apply ice or cold packs to the back of the heels for around 15 minutes after any physical activity, including walking.
Shoe inserts: Small heel inserts worn inside the shoes can take some of the traction pressure off the Achilles tendons. This will only be required in the short term.
Medication: Pain-relieving medication may help in extreme cases, but should always be combined with other treatment and following consultation with your doctor).
Anti-inflammatory creams: Also an effective management tool.
Splinting or casting: In severe cases, it may be necessary to immobilise the lower leg using a splint or cast, but this is rare.
Time: Generally the pain will ease in one to two weeks, although there may be flare-ups from time to time.
Correction of any biomechanical issues: A physiotherapist can identify and discuss any biomechanical issues that may cause or worsen the condition.
Education: Education on how to self-manage the symptoms and flare-ups of Sever?s disease is an essential part of the treatment.
Sever's disease may be prevented by maintaining good joint and muscle flexibility in the years leading up to, and during, their growth spurts (eg girls 8 to 10, boys 10 to 12). Foot arch problems such as flat feet should be addressed after the age of five if they don't appear to be self-correcting. If you are concerned, please ask your health practitioner. The most important factor is the amount of weight-bearing exercise your child is currently performing.
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