Severs, also known as Calcaneal Apophysitis, is inflammation of the growth plate in the heel and occurs in growing children. The most common age group this condition affects is 8-13 year olds where the heel bone experiences a period of growth and the soft tissue structures (such as the muscles and tendons) are unable to keep up with the growth. This ultimately causes pain due to the quick growth. The main cause of Sever’s is rapid growth in conjunction with repetitive stress to the heel.
Symptoms you may be experiencing:
- Dull pain in the heels
- Pain taking off to sprint
- Pain experienced barefoot
- Swelling of the heel
- Walking more on toes rather than heels
Initial care - things to try at home:
- Elevate and ice the painful region for 10 mins at a time
- Avoid barefoot around home
- Activity modification: Limit the pain-inducing sports for a short period of time
- Wear supportive runners
Our approach to solving your problem:
- Clinical assessment involves palpation of the heel.This involves the “squeeze test” which is medial and lateral compression of the calcaneus in the area of the growth plate.
- Biomechanical and footwear assessment in order to assess how we can offload region and what factors are contributing to the symptomatic area.
- Soft tissue therapy through the calf muscle group (Soleus and Gastrocnemius).
- Provision of heel lifts to be worn in school shoes and runners to take the pressure off the heel region.
- Taping can be implemented in the consultation.
- Exercises and stretches can be prescribed once the pain has settled, in order to increase the flexibility of the calf musculature and reduce the tightness in the areas.
- The calf muscle group inserts into the achilles and then into heel, so if these are tight it will consequently pull on the heel, causing more pain.
- If required, custom orthotics can be prescribed using our 3D scanner.
We will then create a management plan specific to you to:
- help settle the pain;
- reduce inflammation;
- increase flexibility in muscles surrounding the heel;
- address the causative factors to prevent recurrence;
- get you back to the activities that you enjoy!
If you would like one of our Podiatrists to help with your, or your child's, Severs discomfort, give us a call on 9894 2463 or book online to make an appointment. We'd love to help!