Why Does My Child's Heel Hurt After Running or Sports?

Heel Pain After Sports Practice

Do you have an active child who complains about heel pain after strenuous activity, like playing sports, practicing martial arts, dancing, or skateboarding? If so, there’s a very good likelihood that they are suffering from a condition known as Sever’s disease.

Continue reading to learn about the connection between Sever’s and youth sports, how the condition leads to severe pain, how it’s diagnosed, and what you can do to effectively treat it.

Popular Sports & Activities that Lead to Sever's Disease

Calcaneal apophysitis, often known as Sever’s disease, is a leading cause of heel pain in young athletes. The repetitive tension and strain generates inflammation and microtears in the heel bone growth plate, which leads to stress and strain, which, in turn, leads to pain and discomfort.

Excessive running, jumping, and general heel bone overuse are all risk factors for Sever’s disease in adolescents and the more active patients are, the more enhanced the risk. Early participation in high-impact sports like soccer, basketball, gymnastics, and track and field increases are known to lead to Sever’s disease.

Parents, coaches, and healthcare providers must make themselves aware of Sever’s disease symptoms and implement preventative actions and effective treatment measures.

Avoiding or decreasing high-impact activities, stretching and strengthening the affected area, plus wearing the right footwear are effective at reducing Sever’s pain. Early detection and treatment minimizes extreme discomfort and prevents long-term problems.

Common Sports & Activities

If your child participates in one or more of the following, or a similar activity, and experiencing significant heel pain, they may have Sever’s disease:

  • Basketball
  • Football
  • Soccer
  • Baseball/softball
  • Martial arts
  • Tennis
  • Volleyball
  • Track and field
  • Cross country running
  • Jogging
  • Skateboarding
  • Ice hockey
  • Ice skating
  • Gymnastics
  • Dancing
  • Rock climbing
  • Hiking

Sever's Disease & Youth Sports

Young people are particularly susceptible to overuse injuries such as Sever’s disease, which affects the growth plate in the heel bone (calcaneus) and the soft tissues that surround it. It’s a common cause of heel discomfort in children, particularly during the rapid development spurts that many of them go through, and it is especially likely to occur during these times.

The medical condition was first described in 1912 by Dr. James Warren Sever, and ever since then, it has been generally known as “Sever’s disease.” In the past several decades the condition has come to widespread recognition as the primary reason why young athletes and other highly active children and teenagers experience discomfort in their heels.

Inflammation and microscopic tears in the tissues lead to the development of Sever’s disease, which is caused by overuse and recurrent stress on the growth plate of the heel and, in most cases, the discomfort will worsen with movement but will improve after being still for a while.

The typical patient is between the ages of eight and 14, and there is a little gender disparity among the them.

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Sever's Disease Diagnosis

It is possible to identify Sever’s disease in a child based solely on the child’s symptoms and a comprehensive physical examination. X-rays may be taken in order to either verify the diagnosis or rule out other possible reasons for the patient’s heel pain, such as a bone spur or a stress fracture.

Sever's Disease Treatments

The common anti-inflammatory treatments for Sever’s disease include getting plenty of rest, applying ice, stretching, and engaging in physical therapy. It is possible that you will be advised to use pressure relief devices such as orthotics, shoe inserts, or other supporting devices.

One such supporting orthotic is the Mikki Device™.

The Mikki Device™ is a protective and shock-absorbing insert that goes into the heel of your shoe, which provides additional comfort and support. Because it relieves pressure on the growth plate in the heel, the device helps to alleviate much of the discomfort and agony that is associated with Sever’s disease.

Pain is caused by the body’s load being transferred from the growth plate to the soft tissues that are around it, which is where the Mikki Device™ comes in and why it is so effective at reducing pain and swelling. In addition to reducing the amount of discomfort experienced by redistributing the weight, the device assists in correcting alignment issues in the heel and ankle, which helps avoid further damage.

Because it is not cumbersome to wear and is made of a material that is both lightweight and flexible, the device does not inhibit the patient’s movement or cause discomfort.

The Mikki Device™ is frequently recommended by podiatrists for heel discomfort treatment in children and adolescents, particularly those who participate in sports or other types of physically demanding activities.

In most cases, it is used in conjunction with other techniques for pain reduction and healing, such as getting enough rest, using ice, stretching, and engaging in physical therapy.

Sever's Disease FAQs

What is the Fastest Way to Treat Sever's Disease?

The Mikki Device™ is one of the fastest and most effective treatments for Sever’s disease in active youth.

Mikki Device™ Sever’s Solution kit is a Sever’s disease treatment created with the assistance of a pediatric podiatrist that has treated countless cases of Sever’s disease in children aged seven to 14. This treatment apparatus alleviates more than 95 percent of Sever’s cases in approximately six weeks.

Your child’s ordinary shoes or cleats are fitted with custom orthotics. Mikki Device™ is a pediatric night splint custom-made to the size of your child’s feet.

The Sever’s Solution treatment regimen comprises the following components:

  1. A step-by-step treatment plan that includes resources and assistance from a Sever’s specialist.
  2. A pediatric orthotic night splint that gently stretches your child’s calf and heel tendons as they sleep.
  3. A pair of personalized orthotic shoe inserts made particularly from your child’s foot casting.

At What Age Does Sever's Disease Stop Being an Issue?

Most cases of Sever’s disease clear up on their own once a child has finished going through growth spurts and the growth plate in the heel bone has finished developing. Usually, this takes place when a girl is 14 to 15 and a boy is 15 to 16 years old.

There is no longer any danger of suffering from Sever’s disease pain when the growth plate has completely fused to the remainder of the heel bone.

If a child is still in pain or discomfort after their growth spurts have completed, it is important to have them reevaluated.

What Happens if Sever's Disease is Left Untreated?

Untreated Sever’s disease can have several implications. The most common side effects are pain and discomfort, which can worsen if your child continues to play heel-pressing sports. Sever’s disease is severe, so youngsters who don’t get therapy may have to cut back on sports and other physical activities they enjoy.

If the youngster keeps pressing on the heel, the healing process will be slowed and long-term consequences will persist. In rare cases, untreated Sever’s disease patients may develop arthritis, stress fractures or chronic pain.

If your child has heel pain, especially if they play sports or are active, take them to the doctor right away. The patient’s discomfort, other issues, and recuperation will improve if the underlying problem is diagnosed and treated immediately.

In Closing

It is important for parents, coaches, and those working in healthcare to be aware of the symptoms of Sever’s disease so that they can help prevent it and begin treating the condition if it does occur. If the condition is quickly detected and treated, it may be possible to reduce the amount of pain experienced and prevent further complications.

In conclusion, Sever’s disease is an overuse condition that mostly affects the heel growth plate in young people. This injury is particularly common in athletes and kids who participate in high-impact after school activities.

In 1912, Dr. James Warren Sever identified it as the primary cause of heel discomfort in adolescents and children who were still growing. After making a diagnosis of the illness based on the patient’s symptoms and performing a physical examination, a common treatment plan for the ailment includes the combined use of rest, ice, stretching, physical therapy, and ankle braces, such as the Mikki Device™.

Mikki Device™ is an orthotic appliance that was designed with the intention of treating Sever’s disease. It does this by transferring the weight of the body’s weight away from the growth plate and onto the soft tissue structures that are located around it, which alleviates Sever’s symptoms. In addition to the standard medical treatment, this gadget is frequently recommended to be used by children who are experiencing heel pain in the hopes that it may provide them with some comfort.