As children go through growth phases coupled with increased participation in sport, injuries; pains and strains can start to occur. With an ever-increasing number of children specialising in one particular sport at increasingly younger ages, the onset of overuse injuries is more likely.
The most familiar injuries we see as myotherapists are overuse injuries. These are injuries brought about by using the same muscle groups for the same action over and over (e.g. kicking in soccer, overhead shoulder actions in swimming or tennis). As we see children spending many hours training and participating in one sport, muscle groups take on increasingly more stress from being used over and over doing repetitive actions.
As children are still growing this repetition adds to the stress on their body. Bones will grow before muscles and tendons leading to tightness and pulling, often leading to pain and inflammation. Some of the more familiar overuse injuries seen in children include foot, knee and hip problems. One of the most common foot problems is Sever’s Disease.
Sever’s Disease is commonly seen in children during the ages of 8-12 years of age and tends to coincide with when a child hits a growth spurt. It is a very common cause of heel pain, which occurs at the growth plate in the heel bone (calcaneus). It is often triggered by an increase in weight bearing activities (running & jumping activities) and during a period of growth.
As discussed above, the bones grow first often causing tightness through the tendons and muscles. Increased activity can add to the stress in the tendons around the heel causing inflammation and pain. Sever’s disease can recur so knowing how to manage the pain is important. To give your child the best chance to prevent Sever’s disease ensure they are getting adequate rest between training and games and are not specilising in just the one sport all year-round.
How can myotherapy help?
At the Myotherapy and Movement clinic, we are trained to assess and treat children and common overuse injuries.
The most important thing to do once your child is diagnosed with Sever’s is to modify their activity until the pain has subsided, and they can run again without pain. They can also ice the area to help with pain management. Your myotherapist can assist you and your child with a treatment plan for their condition. This will include initial pain relief, loosening tight and restricted muscles and joints, taping where required, introduction of heel raises during painful period and assessing foot control. We have special appointments for children at the clinic.