Updated: Jul 30, 2020
While getting bumps and bruises are an inevitable part of being a young athlete or otherwise active, growing kid, heel pain from Sever’s disease is not. Still, it’s all too common among children between roughly age 8 to age 14. By the time you or your child recognize the problem, it may already be set in and require a lot of rest and other treatment to manage.
The good news, though, is that your child can actually prevent Sever’s disease from developing in the first place!
Preventing Sever’s disease isn’t hard, but it will mean helping your child build good habits and take care of his or her lower limbs. This type of children’s heel pain is caused by inflammation in the growth plate on the back of the foot. Repetitive pounding and stress on the heel bone over time is the culprit. Minimizing this stress is the key to preventing the problem altogether.
Here are a few practical ways your child can prevent this condition:
Stretch the Achilles daily – A tight, stiff Achilles strains a child’s heel bone and contributes to Sever’s disease. Help your child stretch this tendon daily to keep it flexible.
Wear the right shoes – Make sure your son or daughter’s footwear fits correctly and has appropriate cushioning in the heel and arch to help support the foot and absorb pressure.
Avoid wearing cleats too often – Cleats usually aren’t supportive and can contribute to heel stress, so limit how often and for how long they get worn.
Don’t over-do it – Kids may seem to have limitless energy, but they can’t do everything. Make sure your child doesn’t push him or herself too far in sports.
Other things can be helpful as well, like maintaining a healthy body weight, running on softer surfaces instead of hard ones, and using orthotic pads. Our team at Gulf South Foot & Ankle, LLC can help you help your child avoid this unnecessary pain. Make an appointment at our Metairie, LA, office or request more information about this condition online or by calling (504) 708-4810 today.