What is Sever’s disease?
Sever’s disease is an inflammatory condition of the growth plate at the base of the heel (calcaneus).
When does Sever’s occur?
Sever’s is often present at a time of rapid growth in adolescent athletic children. At this time the muscles and tendons become tighter as the bones become larger. Between 8 – 15 years of age is the usual onset of this condition.
What are the symptoms?
The symptoms of Sever’s Disease may vary but usually include: –
- Generalised pain and discomfort around the back of the heel
- Can be one sided or both sides
- Starts after child starts a new sport season
- May cause child to limp due to pain
- Increases with weight bearing activity
- Heel becomes red and can be swollen
- X-rays are usually inconclusive and simply show the growth plate.
How can your podiatrist help?
Your podiatrist can help manage this condition by implementing a treatment program. This may incorporate one or all of the following: –
- RI (Rest and Ice)
- Activity modification so child becomes pain free
- Daily stretching routine
- Heel raise within shoes to decrease pull on heel
- Biomechanical abnormalities corrected (Orthotics)
- Strengthening of associated muscles
- Footwear modification
What causes Sever’s Disease?
Inflammation occurs at the insertion of the achilles tendon into the back of the heel due to a number of reasons. One or several of the following may cause the initiation of Sever’s disease: –
- Rapid growth spurt
- Tight calf muscles
- Change in footwear (soccer boots / athletic shoes no heel)
- Excessive rolling in of feet
- Poor warm up routine
- Remember this condition usually settles as the growth plate fuses within 6-12 months.