The bone in children usually grow in length at the ends of the bone where there is a plate of cartilage that the growth takes place at. Those cartilage growth area can be subjected to damage if the child is active and plays a lot of sport. Any of the bones can be damaged by too much use. One of the more common areas that are affected is the growth area at the back of the heel bone. If this becomes painful, it is known as Severs disease. The pain from this is felt at the back and sides of the heel bone, especially during and after sport. Squeezing the heel bone from the sides is also painful. The typical ages for this is around 10-12 years, but it an occur up until the middle of the teenage years. At this age the cartilage growth are merges with the rest of the heel bone so it is not possible for it to continue to be a problem.
The treatment for Severs disease is to firstly relives the pain, which is mostly done by applying ice after sport. It is rarely necessary to use pain relief with medicine for this. It is also important that activity levels be reduced and the amount of stress that the child places on the heel bone is reduced. This can be a challenge and may have to be the subject of negotiation. Education as to the nature of the condition is also very important so that the parents and child have realistic expectations as to what will happen is the stresses on the bone are not reduced to allow it to get better. A soft cushioned heel raise is often also used to protect the heel bone. Whatever happens the child will grow out of this and often it just can be a case of managing the pain and activity until such a time that it does get better on its own.