What is Sever’s Disease?
Sever’s disease is a condition that occurs in children during the growth spurt of adolescence, typically between the ages of 8 and 13 for girls and 10 and 15 for boys. It is often painful but can be treated early with good results. Sever’s disease occurs when the growth plate in the heel begins to swell. Sever’s disease often occurs during the same period in a child’s growth as Osgood-Schlatter disease.
Sever’s Disease Causes
The most common of the Sever’s disease causes is when the heel bone grows more rapidly than the muscles and tendons in the leg. The muscles and tendons become tight and put additional stress on the growth plate in the heel. When this happens, the growth plate begins to swell, becomes tender, and the child will essentially begin to feel one or more Sever’s disease symptoms. It can occur in any child as they grow, but there are some common Sever’s disease causes and risk factors that make a child more prone to the condition. They include:
- Participation in sports and other activities that put pressure on the heel, such as basketball, track, and gymnastics.
- A pronated foot, which makes the Achilles tendon tight, increasing the strain on the growth plate of the heel.
- An arch that is flat or high, affecting the angle of the heel.
- Short leg syndrome, when one leg is shorter than the other, causing the shorter leg to pull more on the Achilles tendon in order to reach the ground.
- Obesity puts extra weight on the growth plate, which can cause it to swell.
Sever’s Disease Symptoms
One of the most obvious Sever’s disease symptoms is pain and tenderness in the back of the heel. The pain often extends down the sides and bottom as well but will end at the arch. Some other common Sever’s disease symptoms include:
- Swelling and inflammation in the heel
- Difficulty walking, running, or jumping
- Stiff feet upon waking up in the morning
- Discomfort if the heel gets squeezed
- Limping or tiptoeing, so as not to put pressure on the growth plate in the heel
Sever’s Disease Treatment
The goal of Sever’s disease treatment is to find relief from pain so that the child can enjoy the activities they participate in every day. With continued activity, left untreated, Sever’s disease can become severe and could require the child to wear a cast for anywhere from 2 to 12 weeks to immobilize the foot so that it can heal.
- Tuli’s® Heavy Duty Heel Cups – Heavy Duty Heel Cups offer cushion and support to the heel, distributing the weight of the body to the outer portion of the foot. Heel cups in children’s athletic shoes can also serve as a preventive measure against Sever’s disease.
Long Term Healing
Stretch & Strengthen
- ProStretch Plus™ - The ProStretch Plus can be adjusted to fit different shoe sizes so that your child can get a good, deep stretch to the plantar fascia, reducing pain and increasing healing.