We recently had the opportunity to assess and provide chiropractic care for an adolescent girl with Sever's Disease in our Beaverton clinic, and I wanted to share some information on the condition, and video of a Rock Tape (kinesio tape) application we're trying for pain relief and joint stability.
Sever's Disease (Calcaneal Apophysitis) is not really a disease per se, rather a painful inflammation of the heel's growth plate, typically affecting children between the ages of 8 and 14 - the years before the heel bone is fully developed, and the growth plate is fused. Until that time, new bone is forming at the growth plate, which becomes a weak point at the back of the heel. Irritation to this area occurs with an overload of repetitive stress, something common in younger athletes, resulting in a chronic inflammatory state, and pain with physical activity. Other causes include obesity, tight Achilles and calf, and biomechanical abnormalities in the feet.
Symptoms of Sever's Disease include:
- Pain in the bottom or back of the heel
- Toe walking
- Painful walking, running, or physical activity
- Pain when compression of the heel on both sides
Diagnosis typically comes from a combination of information including the child's symptoms, physical examination, and x-ray/MRI studies.
- Reduced or modified physical activity to pain tolerance
- Heel support with gel inserts and/or therapeutic taping (as shown in the video)
- Mobility and stability exercises to reduce tension on shortened muscle groups and strengthen any muscles that may be contributing to biomechanical issues
- Immobilization in more severe cases
Following are some tips for prevention with your child:
- Lower body and intrinsic foot muscle strengthening (our staff can help with this!)
- Weight control
- Varied forms of physical activity. This condition is very common in single-sport athletes due to the inherent repetition.
- Rest! Whatever your age, the body needs ample rest and good nutrition to build recover. Heal your heels:)
I want to give a special thanks to the mother who shot the taping video and shared it with us!!
Back In Motion Chiropractic & Sports Rehab - Serving The Beaverton & Portland Community For Over 25 Years - "Moving Toward Your Finish Line"