If your child is complaining of pain in one or both of their heels, it is possible they are struggling with the condition known as Sever’s disease.

The condition frequently crops up when a young person takes up a new sport or a new season of their sport of choice begins. In addition to pain in the heel(s), symptoms may include:

  • Redness or tenderness in the heels
  • Walking and/or running with a limp or on tiptoes to keep the heel off the ground
  • Significant trouble walking and/or running

While the condition is more common in boys, girls tend to experience it at younger ages. For girls, Sever’s disease may develop between the ages of 8 and 13. For boys, the most common age range is between 10 and 15. Soccer players and gymnasts frequently struggle with Sever’s disease. The condition is associated with growth spurts in which the bones grow more quickly than the muscles and tendons. This can lead to less flexibility in the heel, which in turn can lead to too much pressure on—and then injury in—the heel.

Treating Sever’s Disease

When dealing with Sever’s disease, the first step is to stop any activities that cause heel pain. This can be a big ask when it comes to a dedicated athlete, but it is important for healing. The injured heel can be iced three times a day for 20 minutes each time. For some children, heel cups, orthotics, and/or arch supports may be helpful, and your podiatrist can recommend your best options.

In most cases, your child will be back to normal activity fairly soon—perhaps as quickly as two weeks or perhaps as long as two months. Athletic activity can resume when the pain in the heel(s) is completely gone.

We Can Help Get Your Kiddo Back in the Game

Sever’s disease can keep a child from participating in their favorite activities, so if your child is experiencing pain in their heels, your best move is to see a podiatrist right away. The team at InStride Carolina Podiatry Group can diagnose the problem and offer the best solutions for your child’s individual situation. Contact us today to start the process of getting your child back in action.

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