We’ve talked at great length about the benefits of wearing customisable orthotic insoles for plantar fasciitis and Achilles tendonitis – but did you know that these innovative products can also be used to combat the symptoms of Sever’s disease?
Read on to learn more about the condition and how our insoles and heel lifts can be instrumental in easing the symptoms that often accompany growth spurts in kids and teenagers.
First thing’s first – what is Sever’s disease?
The technical name for Sever’s disease is calcaneal apophysitis. It’s a condition that affects growing children – typically those aged between 9 and 14 –and it refers to the inflammation of the heel bone.
This part of the foot is more susceptible to irritation and ‘growing pains’ because it’s weaker and more at risk of injury than the other nearby bones.
You can’t ‘see’ Sever’s disease, as such – but you can certainly feel it! Sufferers report swelling and redness in the heel, along with stiffness in the feet first thing in the morning. They will often feel more pain when the heel itself is squeezed on both sides, and sometimes the discomfort can be so severe that it causes a temporary limp or encourages the child to walk on tiptoes to ease away the stinging sensation that travels through the back of one or both heels.
Active kids likely to experience more severe symptoms. It’s particularly prevalent amongst children and young teens who love football, basketball and track games (and who often play sports on hard surfaces such as concrete or tarmac).
Those who have high foot arches, legs of uneven length and pronation are more likely to develop Sever’s disease, too – so you can put some of it down to genetics!
What treatments are available?
Sever’s disease usually disappears in a few months once the heel bone has stopped growing and all bones have fused together. It rarely causes lasting problems. However, its symptoms can be uncomfortable, especially during or after longer periods of activity – so parents will naturally want to do everything they can to keep pain to a minimum while their kids are going through this vital stage of puberty.
Healthcare providers will firstly tell you to limit any exercise that exacerbates the symptoms of the condition. Walking, swimming and other non-weight bearing exercises are fine, but any sports that involve running or jumping should be avoided until the soreness has subsided.
Placing an ice pack on the heel every couple of hours for around 15 minutes or so will help to reduce the inflammation, and a general painkiller such as Ibuprofen will take the edge off the pain in the short term, too.
But one of the most effective ways to reduce the symptoms of Sever’s disease is to insert orthotic insoles into your child’s shoes.
How can orthotic insoles help lessen the symptoms of Sever’s disease?
Well-designed orthotic insoles will help to take the pressure of the heel during everyday activities. In turn, this will help to reduce the pain and inflammation in the area and speed up the healing process.
With so many insoles on the market, it can be difficult to know which products are going to deliver the best results. The beauty of OrthoSole insoles is that they can be completely customised to suit the needs of your child in a matter of minutes. You won’t need to subject them to a lengthy orthotic consultation, and you won’t need to splash out hundreds of pounds on a custom-built solution – our products offer all the benefits of professionally designed inserts, without the hefty price tag!
Every set of insoles includes a range of metatarsal support pads, which can be inserted into the arch of each insole. You can experiment with these arch pieces until the wearer feels fully supported and 100% comfortable (and you can cut them down to fit neatly inside virtually any type of footwear). Best of all, there’s no off-putting ‘wearing in’ period, either – your child should feel a difference as soon as they start wearing their new insoles, and they’ll be good to go about their daily business as soon as they’ve tied up their shoelaces!
You can take a look at our full range of orthotic insoles – all of which are suitable for children – in our online shop.
For extra cushioning, we’d recommend purchasing our heel lifts, too. These take away even more stress from the heel bone during use, and can help even out leg length discrepancies as your child is growing, too.