heel pain in bayonne

For active children, bones growing too fast can lead to heel pain in Bayonne

by ggargiulo, October 4, 2017

As your child grows, he or she will experience a number of physical changes, some of which can get in the way of their active lifestyle. This is especially true around the age of puberty, when their significant growth can have some painful consequences. One of the best examples of this is a condition called Sever’s disease, a common reason that young athletes experience heel pain in Bayonne.

Although the name might sound intimidating, Sever’s disease—or Sever disease—is not technically a disease, but rather an overuse injury of the heel that’s due to bodily changes. During a growth spurt, your child’s heel bone grows faster than the muscles, tendons and ligaments in the leg. In fact, the heel is one of the first body parts to reach full adult size. The problem is that muscles and tendons can’t grow fast enough to keep up with this pace, and when this happens, they are stretched too tightly.

If your child is very active, especially if they play a sport that involves lots of running and jumping on hard surfaces—like soccer, basketball or gymnastics—it can put even more strain on these tendons that are already overstretched. These changes lead to pain, swelling and other symptoms that are centered around the location where the tendons attach to the part of the heel that is growing. In addition to pain and swelling, other common symptoms of Sever’s disease include tenderness and tightness in the back of the heel, redness around the heel, and difficulty walking or running.

Sever’s disease is more common in boys, who have a later growth spurt than girls. Boys usually notice symptoms of Sever’s disease between ages 10-15, while for girls, it’s usually between ages 8-13. In addition to being active, there are other factors that may increase a child’s chance of developing Sever’s disease, such as decreased ankle flexibility, tight calf muscles and abnormal foot motion.

What physical therapy can do for your child’s heel pain in Bayonne

Fortunately, Sever’s disease won’t cause any long-term foot problems and symptoms will go away on their own within a few months or so, but in some cases this may not be enough. If your child is extremely active and heel pain in Bayonne from Sever’s disease is preventing them from playing their sport, you should strongly consider physical therapy. Our treatment programs usually consist of the following components:

  • Modification of activity levels
  • Gentle stretching exercises for the calf muscles
  • Manual therapy
  • Passive modalities like ice and electrical stimulation
  • Posture and functional training
  • Heel lifts, heel cups or off-the-shelf orthotics

Growing pains are an unavoidable part of adolescence, but there are some changes that can actually be addressed and fixed with some basic treatments. For any heel pain in Bayonne that your child may be experiencing, Strulowitz & Gargiulo Physical Therapy can help. Contact us today at 201-243-6662 to schedule an appointment at our Bayonne office, our flagship Jersey City clinic, the Jersey City Medical Center Outpatient Therapy Department or at Clara Maas Medical Center in Belleville, NJ, or click here for more information on Sever’s disease.