We treat many young people at PhysioWorksNI. Below are some of the conditions/injuries that we would treat.
HEEL PAIN IN KIDS- SEVERS PAIN.
What is it and why does it happen?
This is a common cause of heel pain in growing children, especially if they are very active. When kids grow the bones grow first and the muscles and tendons are playing catch up. This causes these tissues to be stretched tight. Add the repetitive stresses of lots of activity, runing and jumping puts further strain on the already overstretched tendon, leading to pain and swelling at the point where the tendon attaches to the back of the heel bone.
It is more common in boys and also in kids who over pronate, have flat feet or who have high arches.
Over Pronation- This is where the feet roll inwards and can be a common risk factor for Severs Disease.
Symptoms of Severs Disease.
- Pain and swelling over the back of one or both heels which is made worse with physical activity.
- Pain is eased with rest.
- The pain is worse in certain footwear- e.g Flat football boots.
- The child might limp when walking
- Pain is produced by the "squeeze test". The inside and outside of the heel are held and squeezed.
1. Rest from activity- usually around 3 weeks is required but can be up to 8 weeks.
2. Ice applied regulary to help ease the inflammation, swelling and pain.
3. Heel raises to take the strain from the calf.
4. Stretches for hamstrings and calves.
5. Mobilisations and massage to the foot and plantar fascia.
6. Core stability exercises to help align pelvis, knee and foot.
7. May need orthotics to help with foot position.
8. Advice re footwear and return to activity.
Usually children get back to their sport in approximately 3 weeks but can be a little longer if symptoms are very severe. There is also a chance of reoccurrence during the growing years.
There are no long term problems.
1. Have a good stretching routine for the hamstrings, calves and feet.
2. Have good quality shoes that fit well. May need extra cushioning or support depending on foot position.
3. Core work, hip and leg strengthening exercises.