Clinical research shows that heel pain in children is widespread

Researchers at the University of Southern Denmark have been gathering data on children in schools and kindergartens in Svendborg Municipality since 2008 [1]. One of the objectives of this study is to explore whether longer school days have a positive effect on children’s health. Specifically, whether children experience pain in muscles and joints as a result of longer days at school.

By Signe Fuglkjær, chiropractor, PhD.

Sever’s disease is the most common condition for heel pain in children

The study showed that children often feel pain in their legs. Furthermore, around 50 percent of schoolchildren experience leg pain over a school year [2]. The study found that Sever’s disease is the most frequent condition in children between 6 to 12 years [3]. Ankle and heel pain appear to peak around the age of 11 [2].

The study also showed that leg pain can be recurrent. Children often described it as periodic and without any particular cause [2]. (ref. Fuglkjær)

Text responses and parent interviews
A deep understanding of the children´s pain in the muscles, joints, back, neck, arms, and legs was obtained by sending weekly text messages to their parents. If the parents reported back that their child had been in pain that week, they were subsequently interviewed by a chiropractor or physiotherapist. Children with persistent pain were examined and a diagnosis was given.

The study gathered data from over 1,000 schoolchildren in Svendborg Municipality; the cohort was assessed as representative of the general population in Denmark.

1. The Childhood Health, Activity, and Motor Performance School Study Denmark (The CHAMPS-study DK). BMC Pediatr 2012, 12:128.

2. Fuglkjaer S, Hartvigsen J, Wedderkopp N, Boyle E, Jespersen E, Junge T, Larsen LR, Hestbaek L: Musculoskeletal extremity pain in Danish school children – how often and for how long? The CHAMPS study-DK. BMC Musculoskelet Disord 2017, 18(1):492.

3. Jespersen E, Rexen CT, Franz C, Moller NC, Froberg K, Wedderkopp N: Musculoskeletal extremity injuries in a cohort of schoolchildren aged 6-12: a 2.5-year prospective study. Scand J Med Sci Sports 2015, 25(2):251-258

If you´re unsure whether your child’s heel pain is caused by Sever’s disease, take the test to find out.