While most of the blogs on the Austin Runners and Heel Pain site focus on the adult runner, we wanted to throw in a source of heel pain for the younger runner. Fall sports are in full swing with school back in session and we want to make sure your kids are avoiding injury. It is important to have the proper footwear for activities to prevent injury. Unfortunately, problems, like Severe’s disease, can result even with the proper footwear and often is a result of overuse. This blog will cover a little more about what it is and things you can do to help resolve it.
Calcaneal apophysitis or severe’s disease is a condition that typically appears in children between the ages of 8 and 14. Up until the mid to late teen years, bones are still growing. Bones are created out of a cartilage scaffold and some of this cartilage remains as a growth plate to allow for lengthening and expansion until children reach their adult size. The growth plate in the heel bone can become inflamed and painful if too much pressure or tension is placed on it from activities. The Achilles tendon also inserts onto this growth plate can also aggravate the problem if it is tight. Foot mechanics can often be a contributory factor but it difficult to discern which children will be affected from those that will not. While the cause may not be clear, the treatments to alleviate it are.
Heel Pain Center of Central Texas a division of Austin Foot and Ankle Specialists is dedicated to keeping everyone, especially your children, pain free. One of their monthly newsletters discussed some of the characteristics of this condition. While you should follow up with an Austin podiatrist if this happens, reducing your childs activity and icing the area should help to reduce discomfort. Additionally, they should avoid going barefoot and wear supportive shoes to alleviate pressure on the area. Heel pads and arch supports may be useful to cushion the tender heel as well as remove tension from the Achilles. With early intervention and proper treatment, your child can get back to the activities they love and make this heel pain an unpleasant memory.