Baseball has been called “America’s pastime,” and it certainly captivates thousands of people of every age. Some of those young enthusiasts are getting ready for their own big event. The Little League World Series tournament is set for August 14 – 24, 2014. The last thing any of these young athletes want is an injury, but heel pain in children tends to overwhelmingly affect the active kids. You can be sure coaches and trainers are working to prevent issues like Sever’s disease before the tournament!
Sever’s disease, also called calcaneal apophysitis, is inflammation in the heel’s growth plate from rapid growth and overuse—both common problems for young, growing athletes. Running and jumping in sports, including baseball, can put too much strain on the heel bone. Inflammation builds up in the growth plate and makes it hard to use that foot normally. However, there are ways to manage this condition so your child doesn’t have pain.
Here are a few tips for relieving the discomfort:
Rest. Have your child take a break from baseball or any other sports for a little while, until the heel is healed.
Ice. Two or three times a day, wrap the heel in ice (covered by a thin cloth) for twenty minutes.
Stretch. Have your little athlete stretch out his or her calves and hamstrings two or three times a day.
Strengthen. Have your child strengthen the shin muscles to help reduce pressure on the hindfoot. Toe lifts and flexing against a bungee cord both work well.
Once the heel pain is gone, your athlete can begin playing sports again. Then you can work on preventing that problem from developing in the future.
Ignoring heel pain in children could ruin their sports seasons. Don’t wait for the pain to progress to that point. Instead, if discomfort is persistent, seek expert help at Advanced Foot & Ankle Specialists of Arizona. You can reach us for an appointment by calling, faxing, or submitting an online form: for Chandler, call (480) 963-9000 or fax (480) 963-0375; for Gilbert, call (480) 981-1800 or fax (480) 981-0229.
Photo Credit: Daniel St.Pierre via FreeDigitalPhotos.net