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Sever's Disease in Martial Arts

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Sever's Disease in Martial Arts

Sever's disease, also known as calcaneal apophysitis, is a common cause of heel pain in children and adolescents. Although not directly related to martial arts, children participating in martial arts activities can be susceptible to this condition. Here's some information about Sever's disease and its association with martial arts:

1. Cause: Sever's disease occurs when the growth plate in the heel, known as the calcaneal apophysis, becomes inflamed due to repetitive stress and strain. It typically affects children and adolescents during periods of rapid growth, when the bones and soft tissues are developing at different rates.

2. Symptoms: The primary symptom of Sever's disease is heel pain, which is usually worse during or after physical activities. The pain is typically located at the back or bottom of the heel. Other symptoms may include swelling, tenderness, and difficulty walking or participating in sports.

3. Martial Arts Connection: While Sever's disease is not exclusive to martial arts, activities that involve repetitive impact on the heels, such as jumping, kicking, and running, can potentially exacerbate the condition. Martial arts training that involves these movements may contribute to increased stress on the heel and worsen the symptoms.

4. Treatment: The treatment for Sever's disease focuses on reducing pain and inflammation while allowing the affected heel to heal. This often involves a combination of rest, ice therapy, heel cushioning or padding, and modifications to activities to reduce impact on the heel. Over-the-counter pain medications, like acetaminophen or ibuprofen, may be used to manage pain. In some cases, physical therapy exercises and stretches may be recommended to improve flexibility and strengthen surrounding muscles.

5. Recovery and Prevention: Most children with Sever's disease recover fully over time as their growth plates close. However, the condition can persist for several months. To prevent future occurrences or exacerbations, it's important to ensure proper warm-up and stretching before martial arts activities, use appropriate footwear with cushioning and support, gradually increase training intensity, and provide adequate rest and recovery periods.

If your child is experiencing persistent heel pain or you suspect Sever's disease, it's crucial to consult with a healthcare professional, such as a podiatrist, who is a foot and ankle care specialist. They can provide an accurate diagnosis and recommend an appropriate treatment plan tailored to your child's specific needs.



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