Healthy & Happy
September, 2015 - Issue #131
courtesy of Shutterstock
courtesy of Shutterstock

When it's more than Growing Pains
A common problem seen by podiatrists in active children is heel pain. This condition is commonly referred to as "growing pains" and is usually not treated. The most common diagnosis for this is Sever's Disease. Sever's Disease is an inflammation of the growth plate located at the back of the heel. This condition is most commonly seen in physically active girls and boys from ages 9 to 15 years old. These are the years when the growth plate is still "open" and has not fused into mature bone. Also, these are the years when the growth plate is most vulnerable to overuse injuries, which are usually caused by sports activities.

The most common symptoms of this disease include:
Heel pain in one or both heels
Usually seen in physically active children, especially at the start of a new sports season
The pain is usually experienced at the back of the heel, and includes the following areas: the back of the heel (that area which rubs against the back of the shoe); the sides of the heel.

The foot is one of the first body parts to grow to full size. During the time of growth, bones grow faster than muscles and tendons. This results in the muscles and tendons becoming tight. The strongest tendon which attaches to the heel is the Achilles Tendon. It attaches to the back of the heel at the site of the growth plate, and during sports activities it pulls with great force on the growth plate. If this pull by the tight Achilles Tendon continues for long periods of time, the growth plate may become inflamed and painful. If exertive activities continue, Sever's Disease may result.

The old adage, "An once of prevention is worth a pound of cure," is most appropriate when trying to prevent the devastating effects of Sever's Disease. If this disease is not prevented, or treated in its earliest stages, it may cause the child to stop certain sports activities until the growth plate has fused and matured. This usually occurs around the age of 16 years old.

So how do you treat Severs? The first line of approach would be rest, ice, stretching and a topical or oral type of anti-inflammatory. If the pain persists, then medical intervention is suggested, which would include custom molded orthotics (insoles), physical therapy, heel cups or lifts. While it is true that Sever's is related to growing pains, the fact is your child can continue to be active and pain free if this condition is treated properly.
Valencia Foot & Ankle Center 288-2321

Premium Lenses for Cataract Surgery
Limit your risk of developing cataracts in the future by wearing sunglasses outdoors and taking steps to live a healthy lifestyle. Smokers and diabetics are much more likely to get cataracts.

However, we are now in a time where being diagnosed with cataracts is both bad news and good news! The bad news, of course, is that surgery is needed. The good news is that when the cataract, or cloudy lens inside your eye is removed, a prescription lens in inserted, which is unique to your eye and corrects your vision. Lens implants are available to correct near-sightedness, far-sightedness and astigmatism. Multifocal lens implants are now widely used to allow a person to both read and see distance without glasses. Some patients have tried progressive bifocals and could not get used to them. The multifocal lens implants are different.

Although there is an adaptation period, one does not have to hunt for that "sweet spot" that they can see through. Also, multifocal lens implants offer a wide field of vision for both distance and reading. These new options have been able to free many from the necessity of living with glasses or contacts.
Helm Vision Group 259-3937
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