Diabetic Foot Care Advice

The aim of this blog is to help members of the public to understand their feet better. However the information on this blog should never be regarded as medical advice. Readers with foot problems are strongly encouraged to visit their GP if not the podiatrist for further medical assessment and treatment.

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Friday, February 15, 2008

Understanding Sever's Disease - Calcaneal Apophysitis

Also known as calcaneal apophysitis, sever’s disease is a condition that affects your adolescent children usually between the age of nine and 14. This occurs when the growth plate of your kid’s heel is injured. As you may know, your foot is the first part of your body to grow into full size. During early puberty, bones grow faster than tendons and muscles, thus causing the tendons and muscles to tighten. At this time, the heel then becomes less flexible. When your child starts a new sport, or engages in a rather vigorous activity than before, the tight tendons may put too much pressure at the back of the heel or the calcaneus, thus injuring the heel.

You will be able to know it is sever’s disease that your child has when he complains about pain and tenderness in the heel. Pain can occur in one or both heels. You may see him limping when he walks or has discomfort upon waking up. The pain will increase when you let him stand on a tiptoe. You can also do a squeeze test by squeezing both sides of the very back of your child’s heel. Of course this will hurt as well because your child’s tendons have become tight.

To treat sever’s disease, you must stop your child from doing any activity that will bring heel pains so as not to aggravate the situation. You may apply ice to the injured heels for faster remedy. Your child must never go barefoot and you should elevate the heel part to relieve tension. It will also be very helpful that your child do stretching exercises of the hamstrings and calf muscles that will help relax the Archilles tendon. You may give him non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicines for severe heel pains. For special cases, your doctor may recommend arch supports and heel cups if your child is flat-footed and has a high arc or bowed legs. For extreme cases, your child could be put in a cast.

Sever’s disease will go away eventually when the growing of the bone is already complete at around the age 13. There are no reports of any long-term disability with Sever’s disease. When treated, the disease will subside in two to eight weeks, and your child can continue to play sports again in time. This can also be prevented by having stretching exercises early on before any vigorous activity to maintain good flexibility of your child’s body. You can get him good-quality shoes in the market with shock absorbent soles and other footwear that are firm enough for more support in any activity he decides to do.

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