Signs and Symptoms
Heel pain in children may be caused by a condition called Calcaneal Apophysitis, commonly known as Sever’s disease. This condition is most commonly seen in children ageing from 6 to 15 years old. It mostly affects children who are very active, or involved in sport that includes lots of running and jumping. Other symptoms may include: limping, walking on the toes, and tiredness.
The heel’s growth plate is sensitive to repeated running and jumping on hard surfaces, this can lead to muscle strain and inflammation in the growth plate. Once the bone has fully fused, usually at around 15 years old, the condition is likely to full resolve. In order to keep your child active and pain free during this time there are many things that we can do to help!
As with any condition affecting your foot and ankle, your Podiatrist will aim to address both the symptoms and the causative factors of the condition. Our goal is to keep your child active, healthy and happy!
Mobility and Strengthening
Our podiatrists will complete a thorough assessment of how your child’s body is moving, this will include testing the flexibility in the legs. This will often mean that stretches and some soft tissue massage will be incorporated. We will also aim to improve your child’s strength so that tissues such as the Achilles Tendon is not working too hard.
Our podiatrists are experts in providing you with footwear advice, often this relates to ensuring that your child is wearing the correct shoe for a certain activity. Any footwear changes made will be in order to provide the heel with more support.
Flexible inserts are often used with this condition to help improve the efficiency of the foot and reduce the load on the affected tissue, especially during the symptomatic (painful) stage. This helps to reduce load and therefore discomfort. We also use inserts that are flexible and move with the foot to enable the 26 little bones in each foot to move and function efficiently.
If the pain is particularly persistent then your child may need to reduce the amount of activity they are completing. Our podiatrists will try to address footwear, strength and mobility and flexible inserts before asking your child to reduce the amount of activity; we know that it’s hard to slow kids down and we want them to be able to continue doing the things that they love, such as sport!
Using a heat pack can be a good short term measure to reduce pain, sometimes topical medication such as Fisiocream or Voltaren are required to reduce the pain and inflammation in persistent cases.
If you think your child is suffering from this condition please book an appointment with us for an initial assessment and a targeted management plan. You can book online or call 1300 945 789