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Posts Tagged ‘severs disease’

A Success Story: Tuli’s Heel Cups

Dr. Murray Davidson was a podiatrist in Phoenix when his 13-year-old son, Jeff, came into his office complaining of sore heels. Dr. Davidson began by prescribing the customary forms of treatment; styrofoam pads, heel supports, various strappings, ultra sound and even whirlpool therapy but none of the traditional methods seemed to work. Dr. Davidson soon became frustrated and embarrassed that he could not find a solution to Jeff’s heel pain. Desperate to maintain the confidence of his son, he began looking at Jeff’s heel pain very differently.

Dr. Davidson acknowledged that Jeff’s heels needed to be protected from distress caused by every day walking and running. He understood that Jeff’s heels were absorbing a substantial amount of shock each time he stepped, just like the shock experienced from a shotgun recoiling. As a hunter Dr. Davidson knew shotguns well. For the first time he noticed the recoil pad on his shotgun—how it was long-lasting and durable, while protecting the body from shock. So he took some of the recoil pads and cut little cushions out for his son’s heels. To their surprise Jeff’s heel pain went away, immediately!

What a wonderful revelation! Jeff felt better and soon this news traveled throughout the Davidson’s community. Jeff’s friends began seeking assistance from Dr. Davidson’s office; everyone wanted these miraculous heel cups. Dr. Davidson found himself frequently working late into the night, hand making his innovative heel cups. This was not conducive to long work days at the office (or Jeff’s after-school sports schedule), so eventually Dr. Davidson contracted a mold maker and patented the product we know as Tuli’s.

Tuli’s heel cups might have come from a far-reaching idea, but the innovative structure of the product is still unmatched by any heel pain solution on the market. Tuli’s patented, multi-cell, multi-layer “waffle” design absorbs shock and returns impact energy just like the system naturally found in your feet. Upon impact, the waffle construction bears down and rotates with the normal motion of the foot to absorb the shock of walking and running; keeping your feet, knees, hips and back in alignment for maximum comfort and performance. The #1 Podiatrist recommended Tuli’s heel cup provides immediate relief from heel pain by cushioning the area of pain and elevating the heel bone to take pressure off of the Achilles tendon which lessens the tension and allows for a regaining of flexibility.

Heel Pain in Children

Remember when you were growing up…children played baseball during baseball season, football during football season and spent most of their time just running around the neighborhood with friends.  These days it’s not uncommon for girls and boys to be playing recreational or competitive sports year round. And in some cases, more than one sport at a time.  That extra wear and tear is taking its toll.

If your child has complained of heel pain, then you are not alone. 

Heel pain in children (typically between the ages of 8 to 14) is a becoming a common complaint.  While it can occur as a result of a specific injury, it is also commonly caused by Sever’s disease, (Calcaneal Apophysitis) an overuse injury that causes an inflammation of the heel’s growth plate.

As children start to experience growth spurts, the heel bone sometimes grows faster than the leg muscles and tendons.  This can cause the muscles to become tight and even over stretched, making the heel less flexible – putting pressure on the growth plate. Over time, this tightness combined with the repeated stress on the Achilles tendon from running and jumping in sports such as track, basketball, soccer, and gymnastics can cause swelling, tenderness, and even damage to the growth plate.

How do I know if it’s Sever’s Disease?

Unlike heel pain from plantar fasciitis (which typically affects adults and often causes heel pain in the morning that feels like you’re stepping on stones), Sever’s disease causes pain at the back and the side of the child’s heel.  The pain is usually worse after physical activity and will typically lessen when the child is not active.  Squeezing the sides of the heel can often be painful.

Only a doctor can diagnose the condition for certain.  Treatment for Sever’s disease often includes:

  • Cutting back on running and jumping activities. 
  • Wearing a heel cup in all cleats and athletic shoes.
    A heel cup can provide immediate relief by cushioning the area of pain and elevating the heel bone which will reduce the pull from the calf muscles on the growth plate.
  • Daily stretching.
    Because wear and tear often begins with inflexibility. It is important to stretch the calf muscles and as tight calf muscles are common in those who suffer from Sever’s.
  • Ice.  Many find using an ice pack for 20 minutes after activity helpful as well.

Once your child is back in the game, it will help to prevent a reoccurrence if they continue to stretch, wear good supportive shoes and use a quality heel cup in their shoes.

Preventing Heel Pain

The same “treatments” that are used to help recover from Sever’s disease can also help prevent heel pain and even Sever’s disease from occurring!  Regular stretching of the calf muscles as well as strengthening of the Achilles tendon will go a long way towards preventing pain and injury.  Making sure that they have supportive shoes and placing heel cups in your athletic shoes and cleats will also help to lessen the impact and improve performance.