If you’re an adult, you may have experienced heel pain. In reality, it’s a fairly common condition. However, heel pain isn’t a condition that is commonly associated with young children. Dr. Reminga says, “In children, I commonly see a condition called Sever’s Disease which is also referred to as Calcaneal Apophysitis. It isn’t really a ‘disease’ but more of an overuse condition.” Dr. Sever first reported it in 1912 as an inflammation of the apophysis, causing discomfort to the heel, mild swelling, and difficulty walking in growing children.

Sever’s Disease is generally characterized by a sharp pain at the back or bottom of the heel. It also causes mild limping or swelling that disrupts normal daily activity. The pain is often more intense after activities such as running and sports. Other symptoms include… pain when the sides of the heel are squeezed, tiredness, and walking on the toes to avoid the painful heel. Dr. Reminga states, “I want to say that Sever’s Disease is sometimes referred to as “growing pains”. I’ve talked about this in past shows where I’ve said that there’s no such thing as ‘growing pains’. This reference is an easy way to lump specific conditions into a broad category. Again, there’s no such thing as growing pains. If you are hearing that your child will “grow out of it”, I would be cautious as a parent. Conditions that are specific and treatable should not be so generically and broadly diagnosed.”

 

Sever’s Disease is a condition that usually occurs between the ages of 8 and 14. In the past, there’s been a higher incidence in boys than girls. However, Sever’s Disease, is now being diagnosed more frequently in active girls between the ages of 8-10 due to their increased participation in all types of sports including soccer, basketball, and softball for example.

Dr. Reminga concludes by saying, "Sever’s Disease has a serious sounding name but I don’t want parents to be over alarmed. The condition is an overuse injury that can be treated effectively if the correct approach is taken. Children should enjoy their youth and not have to suffer with this condition."

Listen to find out more about more about this interesting subject. Dr. Reminga is a board certified foot and ankle specialist with over 30 years of experience. If you have any type of foot or ankle problem, Dr. Reminga can help.

Dr. Daniel Reminga's Weekly Radio Show "Your Feet Your Health" airs every Wednesday at 10 am & 5 pm on WKMJ 93.5FM, WMPL 920AM, WUPY 101.1FM radio. Listen to past recordings here.