If you have teenage children, keeping up with their busy schedules for sports practices and games or other activities can leave both you and your child exhausted. Although your teen may be constantly on the run, it’s important to pay attention and take action if they complain about their feet, specifically heel pain.
Warning signs or complaints of heel pain isn’t something to take lightly as your teenager may be suffering from a common condition called Sever’s Disease. This disease is similar to the adult’s condition of plantar fasciitis, but it differs when it comes to the type of pain experienced. Unlike plantar fasciitis where walking or staying active can help relieve painful symptoms of the condition, children who continue to play sports when experiencing heel pain will only worsen the condition and the pain.
What causes Sever’s Disease?
The condition is most often seen in children ages 9 to 15 when they are going through growth spurts and growing pains. The heel bone isn’t fully developed during this time frame and until the growth plate is completely formed too much stress on the new bone can result in the disease.
What can you do to console your child?
The only cure for Sever’s Disease is time. As your child matures and passes through the teenager stage of growth, the pain will most likely go away. Until then, Chiropodist Tony Abbott recommends the following treatment tips to help alleviate discomfort.
- Stretching. To stretch the calves and Achilles tendon that affects the heel, have your child keep their feet flat on the ground while learning forward toward a wall. Hold the stretch for 30 seconds and repeat several times. Certain stretching devices that are worn at night can be prescribed as well.
- Reduce jumping or extraneous running. Sports like basketball or sprinting activity can greatly increase heel pain.
- Don’t go barefoot. Make sure your child wears supportive shoes as much as possible to help absorb impact.
- Heel padding. Padding inserts are available to help add protection and support for the affected areas.
If heel pain has continued to be an issue past the growing age, please set up an appointment with Tony to determine the cause and right from of treatment to ensure your child’s foot health is kept right on track.