Kids seem almost programmed to seek out bumps and bruises as they run, jump, play, explore, discover, and navigate their world—especially now, when school is out of session and summer camps, sports, and other outdoor activities take priority.
Despite their natural resiliency, however, you should take note if your child complains of heel pain, or displays any of the telltale symptoms. There’s a good chance repeated pounding from running and jumping on hard surfaces has led to swelling and pain of the cartilage surrounding the growth plate, a condition known as Sever’s disease. It’s quite common in children from about age 6 to age 14, especially those in the midst of a growth spurt.
Heel pain in kids should not be ignored; although Sever’s disease usually responds very well (and relatively quickly) to conservative care, failure to address the problem can lead to increase pain and discomfort, and even walking problems later in life that may require more aggressive treatment.
Ideally, your child will tell you when their feet are hurting. However, kids have been known to hide symptoms from their parents, especially if they’re worried they’ll be taken away from activities they love. That’s why it’s important to inspect their feet regularly, and keep an eye on them as they play. A child suffering from Sever’s disease typically suffers from reddened, swollen heels that may respond painfully to being squeezed. Furthermore, a child with Sever’s may have difficulty walking normally, limping or walking on their toes in order to protect their heel.
If your child admits to heel pain, or you suspect as much, take your little one to see Dr. Keith McSpadden at North Austin Foot & Ankle Institute. He is an expert at helping children recover full health from Sever’s disease using gentle, conservative methods. To set up an appointment in Cedar Park or Round Rock, TX, dial 512-593-2949.