What Can Cause Your Child's Heel Pain? It’s likely Sever's Disease - Jeffrie C. Leibovitz, DPM

What Can Cause Your Child’s Heel Pain? It’s likely Sever’s Disease

Every great story needs its villains, and in the world of children’s health, the heel pain villain we face is Sever’s Disease. This adversary can sneak into your child’s life and disrupt the joy of being active.

Sever’s Disease: The Elusive Adversary

Sever’s Disease targets children aged 8 to 14, and. it operates in a stealthy manner, focusing its malevolent forces on the growth plate in the heel bone, also known as the calcaneus.

The Symptoms – Unveiling the Clues

  • Interruptions During Play: Watch for a change in gait (limping). This will be apparent at the end of the activity or practice. There will be a decrease in acceleration when running, and even more noticeable is the discomfort when rapidly stopping. It may take 2-3 extra steps to come to a complete stop compared to other kids.
  • Stealthy Moves: Your child might start tiptoeing or limping. They are trying to protect and offload the heel.
  • Mysterious Messages: Generalized tenderness in the heel is the first clue. It can be intermittent at first and slowly escalate.
  • Heel Exorcism: Keep an eye out for speaking in tongues when the back of the heel is hit or compressed. It is incredibly painful. (Personal experience- Dr. Leibovitz suffered from this as a kid.) If your child has been misbehaving, just squeeze the sides of the heel to get their full attention (Do not mention where you heard of this vengeance).

The Extent of the Threat – How Common is Sever’s Disease in Children?

The uncomfortable impact of Sever’s Disease on children is a common challenge. This is especially found during growth spurts and active sports engagement. This type of heel pain can also affect kids who are not very active and is usually from increased body mass. Watch the other kids on the team. In the appropriate age group, you will see 2 out of every 10  kids show the mentioned symptoms. It surprises most parents that the treatment is pretty simple. Improve the biomechanics and flexibility and your child is back to full speed. Commonly recommended treatments of ice and compression may be helpful at the moment. But this will not improve or make a difference tomorrow, next week, or next month.

A child injured his foot while playing in the playground

Which Parent Gets Blamed

The biomechanics are a large part of your child’s heel pain. That means one, if not both, of the parents and grandparents can be the source of this biomechanical legacy. Don’t feel guilty, we are sure they inherited many fine and admirable traits. It is pretty easy to see which of the parents is to blame. The parent that is not present at the office visit is always the one who gets blamed. We have found it very useful to have both parents and as many grandparents as possible attend the visit. The room can get pretty crowded. WARNING- expect to take off your shoes and socks for an exam.

Asian little girl sitting on the ground after falling and getting hurt at heel while riding a bicycle at summer park. Active family leisure with kids.

Heroic Solutions: Battling the Heel Pain Villain

The battle against the heel-pain villain requires a superhero team. Here’s how we can turn the tide:

For Sever’s Disease:

  • Biomechanics: Typically, we change the foot functions with a taping.
  • Activity: Our experienced team recommends that your child maintain normal or increased activity. Rest does not help resolve this problem unless you want to wait until their 13 or 14th birthday.
  • Stretching: There is a very specific exercise we recommend. This quest will unlock the secret of pain-free heels.
  • Footwear: This may not be what you think. Soft cushioned shoes may increase growth plate irritation.
  • Guidance from the Masters: Let us guide you and your child on a path to recovery and return them to their All-Star status.

Let’s keep your child active and away from Sever’s Disease.  Here is a sure-fire plan to stop the dastardly foe in its tracks:

  • Stay Vigilant: Trust in your heroic intuition and Dr. Leibovitz’s expertise to identify any signs of lingering heel discomfort or unexpected detours during play. It is not hard to spot and is straightforward to treat.
  • Harness Knowledge: Like Yoda and the force, you can leverage Dr. Leibovitz’s understanding of Sever’s Disease. You will be armed with a precise and effective strategy against this wicked antagonist’s activity.
  • No Time Outs: There is no off-season anymore. One sport blends into the next. If you suspect your child is fighting Sever’s Disease lean on Dr. Leibovitz’s prompt and expert care. We want to see a return to normal practice and games.
  • Get a New Team Member: Our compassionate team is happy to join your team. We will create a comprehensive strategy against the heel-pain villain.

With Dr. Leibovitz’s guidance and your proactive approach, the battle against this adversary concludes triumphantly. Dr. Leibovitz continues to help families through a healing journey. You can make your child’s activity a fun adventure and not a punishment. For any questions you may have, please contact our headquarters and we will be happy to guide you!