Posted on November 11, 2019
Why do only children get Severs Disease?
Heel pain in children is not common, but when it does happen, the most common reason is a condition known as Severs disease. It is not really a “disease”, but it is the term that has unfortunately widely used. It is more appropriately known medically as calcaneal apophysitis. It is a disorder in the growing area at the back of the heel bone. As it is a disorder, of the growing bone, the condition is self-limiting and will no longer be a concern once the growth of that bone has concluded. It is more common around the age groups of 10-12 years.
The typical symptom of Severs disease are soreness on exercise and pain on compressing the sides of the rear part of the heel. At first the pain is relatively minor and does not affect action much, however later it becomes more painful and impacts athletic participation and may even cause limping. The exact reason for it is not known, but it is obviously an too much use type condition because it is more prevalent in kids who play more sport and more prevalent in children who have a higher body weight. Kids with tight leg muscles might be at a higher risk for the chances of this problem.
Usually, the management of Severs disease is activity modification. The child is encouraged to remain active, but just decrease activity amounts to a level which can be tolerated and not too uncomfortable. A soft heel pad in the shoe might be useful to cushion it. Ice right after exercise may also be useful to help the symptoms. If the leg muscles are tight, then a stretches should be started. At times foot supports may help when the arch of the foot is flat. On rare occasions a brace can be utilized, and all sport ceased until it heals. By the mid-teens the growth plate that this takes place at combines with the rest of the heel bone, so this stops being a problem at those ages.