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Sever's injury (apophysitis calcanei) is considered to be the dominant cause of heel pain among children. Common advice is to reduce physical activity. However, our previous study showed that application of insoles reduced pain in Sever's injury without having to reduce physical activity. The purpose of this study was to test which of the two insoles, the heel wedge or the heel cup, provided best pain relief during sport activity in boys with Sever's injury (n=51). There was a crossover design in the first randomized part of the study. In the second part, the boys, 9-14 years, chose which insole they preferred. There was a reduction in odds score for pain to a fifth (a reduction of 80%) for the cup compared with the wedge (P<0.001). When an active choice was made, the heel cup was preferred by >75% of the boys. All boys maintained their high level of physical activity throughout. At 1-year follow-up, 22 boys still used an insole and 19 of them reported its effect on pain as excellent or good (n=41).
Sever's injury (apophysitis calcanei) is considered to be the dominant cause of heel pain among children between 8 and 15 years. Treating Sever's injury with insoles is often proposed as a part of a traditional mix of recommendations. Using a custom-molded rigid heel cup with a brim enclosing the heel pad resulted in effective pain relief without reducing the physical activity level in our previous two studies. The purpose of this study was to assess the effect of the heel cup on heel pad thickness and heel peak pressure (n=50). The difference in heel pad thickness and in heel peak pressure using a sports shoe without and with a heel cup was compared. With the heel cup the heel pad thickness improved significantly and the heel peak pressure was significantly reduced. These effects correlated with a significant reduction in pain when using the heel cup in a sports shoe, compared with using a sports shoe without the heel cup. A heel cup, providing an effective heel pad support in the sports shoe, improved the heel pad thickness and reduced heel peak pressure in Sever's injury with corresponding pain relief.