Podiatric Care For Children With Sever's Disease

Sever's disease can develop in adolescence when your child has a major developmental growth spurt. The growth plate in children's heels is divided into two sections, and there is a piece of cartilage between the sections. Sever's disease occurs when your child injures their heel or their heel is under significant stress and the cartilage becomes inflamed. A growth spurt puts additional stress on the cartilage dividing the heel growth plates, and young people who are physically active are at greater risk of developing this condition.

Engaging in high-impact sports can strain the muscles around the heel, and wearing shoes that are fashionable but don't provide adequate support can also put a strain on the heel. Kids with flat feet are also at increased risk of developing Sever's disease, as flat foot arches can alter the range of movement in the feet and cause the Achilles tendon to tighten, which leads to localised inflammation. Thankfully, podiatric treatment can help your child to recover from Sever's disease, but the condition tends to be easier to treat when treatment is started early.

Symptoms Of Sever's Disease

Your child may have developed Sever's disease if they complain about pain at the back of the heel. The pain tends to intensify when you're on your feet for long periods, and it may also radiate along the foot arch. The affected foot may feel tender to the touch, and you may notice your child alters their walk to find relief from the pain. Some sufferers find walking on their tiptoes brings some temporary relief.

Podiatric Treatment For Sever's Disease

When your child visits a podiatrist they will carry out a foot assessment, which may involve observing your child walk and gently manipulating their feet to determine whether the range of motion in their feet has been impacted. Reducing the inflammation in the cartilage between the growth plates will bring relief from the symptoms your child is experiencing, so the podiatrist may recommend a short course of anti-inflammatories to encourage your child's foot to begin healing. They will also show your child how to do some foot exercises that are specifically designed to promote blood flow to the heel, loosen tight muscles and build strength. Your child may also be fitted for specially-made orthotic insoles that can take pressure off their heel. If your child has flat feet, the insoles can be made to gently lift the foot arches, which will support recovery and may reduce the risk of the problem recurring.

If your child has symptoms associated with Sever's disease, schedule an initial foot assessment with a local podiatrist.