Sever’s disease (Heel Pain in Adolescents and Children)
Sever’s disease is a condition common amongst children and adolescents. It is characterized by pain at the heel, mild swelling and limping or difficulty in walking
Often called growing pains, this condition occurs usually occurs when a child undergoes a growth spurt. The name growing pains suggests that there is no treatment for severs disease however there are a number of options available that will help to limit the pain of severs disease.
What happens to the foot?
The calcaneus is the large bone in the foot which forms a major portion of the heel. In the case of Severs disease, the growing part of the heel bone becomes inflamed. This condition is also known as calcaneal apophysitis (severs disease).
As most bones grow in adolescents and children, there is a plate of growth known as the growth plate or apophysis. Repeated strain and stress at the joint between the growth plate and the rest of the bone leads to inflammation of the region called the apophysitis.
Common reasons for predisposition to Sever’s disease include over pronation, tight tendons of the foot and lower limb, rapid growth of the foot (seen in adolescence), poor footwear and repeated small injuries to the back of heel. There can sometimes be extra bone spurs at this area or even tiny fractures that occur due to the stress and injury to the bone.
Some children are more susceptible to this condition and other similar problems of the knee (Osgood Schaltter’s disease), elbow (little leaguer’s elbow) or hips (iliac apophysitis). These children are unable to bear the stress and strain of exercise, especially at the joint between the growth plate and the rest of the bone.