Heel pain is a common complaint among children that should not be ignored. In some cases, the heel pain is not severe enough to warrant treatment. In others, the heel pain is a sign of a more serious underlying condition, such as Sever's disease. If your child is complaining of heel pain, here is what you need to know about Sever's disease.
What Is Sever's Disease?
Your child has an area of cartilage cells that exists at the end of bones. The area is used for expansion as your child grows. As your child grows, the bones extend and start to connect with other bones. Sever's disease occurs when the area at the end of the bones becomes inflamed.
The disease can cause a number of symptoms, including heel pain and limping. You might notice your child walking on his or her toes more to get relief from the pain. Your child could even have trouble in participating in normal activities.
Sever's disease is more common in children who are obese or highly active.
How Is It Treated?
The treatment for your child's condition depends on the severity of the symptoms. In mild cases, the doctor might recommend reducing activity and using over-the-counter pain medications, such as acetaminophen. If the pain persists, medical intervention might be necessary.
One possible treatment is the use of custom made orthotics. For instance, your doctor can fit your child for a shoe insert that would offer additional support to the heel. The added support can help reduce pain.
Your child's doctor might even recommend using a cast to keep the foot immobile until it has healed. The length of time that the cast must be worn tends to vary based on the severity of the condition.
Physical therapy can also provide some relief. The therapy focuses on alleviating the swelling. Therapy can include cold and heat applications and stretching.
What Can You Do?
If your child is overweight, work with his or her pediatrician to develop a weight management plan. Since your child is suffering from heel pain, the focus of the plan in the early stages will most likely be healthy eating.
You also need to ensure that your child is wearing shoes that provide support. Your child's doctor can provide recommendations for shoe brands that have the support needed.
If your child's condition is the result of overactivity, cut back on the activities until your child is feeling better. Work with your doctor like Gibbs Foot & Ankle Clinics to find a healthy balance between being active and keeping the condition in check.