One of the most common foot complains seen in kids


Sever’s (Heel Pain)

What is Sever's?

You might have seen it referred to as Sever’s Disease on Google. Using the term disease can seem a bit scary, but in fact, Sever’s or Calcaneal Apophysitis as it is also known is a very common complaint in children. Sever’s is likely to occur between the ages of 7-13 years in girls and 10-15 years in boys depending on the child’s growth.

The growth plate at the back of the heel bone called the Calcaneus is the injured and symptomatic area. There are growth plates throughout your child’s developing skeleton and are sensitive areas if placed undress stress or pressure.

What causes Sever's?

It can become painful during a growth spurt and/or when there is excessive pressure and load placed on the heel. This might can be from playing lots of sports, ill-fitting footwear or your child’s foot type and body shape. Having flat feet is not solely a cause for Sever’s but can be a contributing factor.


Symptoms of Sever's to look out for

Children with Sever’s will often complain of pain in the heels during or after school and sport. In some cases, they may come off the field or court limping and you may see them not wanting to put any weight on their heels. Getting up out of bed may also be painful for some children but can ease as they put their shoes on. A way to test if their symptoms are caused by Sever’s is to squeeze the heel bone; if they say it is painful, it may be Sever’s and seeing a Podiatrist is the next step.

How can Sever's be treated?

Treatment is all centred around managing the symptoms and managing activity load. Unfortunately, the growth will be vulnerable to inflammation during the ages of 7-15 and the occasional flare-up can occur. This means managing the symptoms is needed during this period. This can be done through appropriate footwear, taping techniques and in some cases foot orthoses. In the vast majority of cases, kids don’t need to give up their sport, just the occasional rest. However, some children may require full rest from all sports if the symptoms do not resolve conservatively.

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