Sever?s disease is a condition occurring in pre-adolescents that causes pain, swelling and soreness in the heel bone, also known as the calcaneus. Sever?s disease causes pain on either side of and/or
on the bottom of the heel. During a period of pre-adolescent development, the growing heel bone can be overused when the child is involved in a lot of running and jumping activities. Impact on the
heel bone and repeated traction on the growing bone from the Achilles tendon can lead to swelling in the area.
There are usually two root causes of Sever?s disease that we?ve found that effect young athletes. Arches are not supported causing a dysfunctional run, jump, and landing. The calves (gastrocnemius
and soleus muscles) are overworked, tight, and do not allow proper movement of foot which puts extreme pressure on the Achilles? tendon, in turn irritating the growth plate in the heel.
Symptoms of calcaneal apophysitis may include Pain in the back or bottom of the heel, Limping, Walking on toes, Difficulty running, jumping, or participating in usual activities or sports, Pain when
the sides of the heel are squeezed.
Sever's disease is diagnosed based on a doctor?s physical examination of the lower leg, ankle, and foot. If the diagnosis is in question, the doctor may order X-rays or an MRI to determine if there
are other injuries that may be causing the heel pain.
Non Surgical Treatment
Treatment includes modifying activities and resting to reduce pain and inflammation and take pressure off the growth center. Ice can also be very helpful in relieving symptoms, as well as
anti-inflammatory medication. A physical therapy program should be initiated to stretch tight calf muscles and strengthen the ankle muscles to relieve tension on the growth center. Shoes with padded
heel surfaces and good arch support can decrease pain. Cleats may need to be avoided for some time to help reduce symptoms. The doctor may also recommend gel heel cups or supportive shoe
For children with Sever's disease, it is important to habitually perform exercises to stretch the hamstrings, calf muscles, and the tendons on the back of the leg. Stretching should be performed 2-3
times a day. Each stretch should be performed for 20 seconds, and both legs should be stretched, even if the pain is only in one heel. Heel cups or an inner shoe heel lifts are often recommended for
patient suffering from Sever's disease. Wearing running shoes with built in heel cups can also decrease the symptoms because they can help soften the impact on the heel when walking, running, or