With the San Juan Unified School District starting up in no time, it reminds us that progression through the education system shows remarkable child development. In only a couple short years, tremendous strides are made in the various academic disciplines. Beyond the mental and cognitive development taking place, children undergo major physical growth during their childhood years. Once they reach adolescence, the process of growing can actually lead to heel pain in a condition known as Sever’s disease.

Sever’s disease (calcaneal apophysis) is a matter of “growing pains” in the most literal of senses. This condition happens during growth spurts and is related to the fact that the heel bone grows faster than other tissue (muscles, ligaments, tendons) in the legs. Not many people are aware of this fact, but the heel is one of the first body parts to achieve full size. This makes sense when you consider that the heel (and foot in general) is the structure upon which all others are supported.

For girls between the ages of 8 and 13 and boys between the ages of 10 and 15, the growth spurts that lead to the issue begin to take place. During this time, the growth of the heel places excess tension and pressure on the supporting tissues, which leads to:

  • Swelling, pain, and redness in the affected area.

  • Tightness and tenderness that can be observed when the heel is gently squeezed.

  • Heel pain that worsens after jumping, running, or other such physical activity, and then improves with rest.

  • Difficulty walking, or even limping while walking or running.

The good news with Sever’s disease is that it does not typically cause any long-term problems. Symptoms often disappear after a few months and treatment is centered on managing the adolescent heel pain.

When your son or daughter experiences foot or ankle issues, bring him or her in for an appointment with McDowell Orthopedics & Podiatry Group. Our caring professionals are ready to provide the care and treatment your child needs, so call us today at (916) 961-3434 or schedule an appointment with our Carmichael, CA office online.
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