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Do This to Protect Kids from Sever’s Disease

Young athletes have a high risk for Sever’s disease, a painful condition that’s common in active tweens. While there’s no guaranteed way to prevent this problem, avoiding early sports specialization may be the answer.

young athletes risk Sever's disease

Photo by Ben Hershey on Unsplash

Stick to Multi-Sports in the Early Years

According to Dr. Liebeg of Akron Children’s Hospital, young kids should avoid sports specialization. Instead, this kind of highly specific training should wait until adolescence.

He says, “During growth spurts, the growth plates are at a higher risk for injury.” To prevent early injury and damage, he advises delaying specialization until kids are about 15-years-old. Why that age?

Well, girls finish their growth spurts around this age. At the same time, most 15-year-old boys  have only three years left to grow. And, once growth slows, so does your child’s risk for growth-related conditions.

One such condition is Sever’s disease, which affects the growth plate in growing kids. As we mentioned, it mostly affects physically active kids. And the earliest symptoms involve inflammation in their the heel’s growth plate.

Growing children are often affected by Sever’s disease. If you suspect that your child has developed the condition, see Dr. Brad Bachmann, D.P.M. of Louetta Foot and Ankle Specialists, P.A. Dr. Bachmann will provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.

Safer Youth Sports Training

After a year or two away from the athletic fields, children have a higher risk for this and other athletic injuries. As we suggested, having your child try many different sports can protect his or her growing bones. That’s because it can place different forces on many areas of their bodies, instead of placing excess pressure on one body part.

Also, work regular stretches into your child’s training sessions, to help avoid muscle tightness. (Too tight muscles can pull at your child’s tendons, leading to inflammation.) Finally, build rest and recovery days into any child’s athletic schedule. And watch for any signs of concern, like the ones we’ll detail below.

Understanding Sever’s Disease

Sever’s disease is also known as calcaneal apophysitis. It’s is a medical condition that causes heel pain in one or both feet. The disease affects children between the ages of 8 and 14.

Sever’s disease occurs when part of the child’s heel known as the growth plate (calcaneal epiphysis) attaches to the Achilles tendon. This area can suffer injury when the muscles and tendons of the growing foot do not keep pace with bone growth. Then, constant back-of-heel-pain keeps your child from putting any weight on the heel. As a result, the child is then forced to walk on his or her toes.

Soon, a toe gait- develops. This means your child must change the way he or she walks, to avoid placing weight on the heel. This can lead to other problems as well in the future.

Symptoms of Sever’s Disease

The following are all symptoms of Sever’s disease:

Acute pain – pain associated with Sever’s disease is usually felt in the heel when the child engages in physical activity such as walking, jumping or running.

Highly active – children who are very active are among the most susceptible to Sever’s disease, because of the stress and tension they place on their feet.

For more information about Sever’s Disease, follow the link below.

If you have any questions, please contact one of our offices in Spring and Tomball, TX. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle injuries.

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