What Is Sever’s Disease?
Sever’s disease is a very common cause of heel pain in children. It’s best described as painful inflammation of the heel bone at the area of the growth plate. This part of the heel bone growth plate is known medically as the calcaneal apophysis. This is why you may hear the term “calcaneal apophysitis” used instead of Sever’s disease. Calcaneal apophysitis simply means inflammation of the growth plate of the heel bone.
The term Sever’s Disease was originally first described by Dr J.W. Sever, MD, in the New York Medical Journal in 1912, hence, the name.
What Causes Sever’s Disease?
The cause of this type of heel pain in children and adolescents is thought to be a combination of overuse, rapid growth and overload on the growth plate of the heel.
The overuse tends to occur as a result of tractional forces applied by the achilles tendon at the back of the heel bone and the plantar fascia ligament just beneath the heel bone. This pulling force by the achilles tendon on the growth plate is often made worse by tight calf muscles and excessively pronated feet (i.e. feet that “roll in” too far).
Sever’s disease will eventually settle down once the growth plate in the heel bone closes over, however, this type of overuse injury can limit a child’s ability to participate in sport and general physical activity. Fortunately, an experienced podiatrist can provide significant relief.
The “Sever’s Disease Heel Pain Treatment Program” has been developed and refined over the last 29 years and with this program of care, significant pain relief is usually observed within weeks of treatment rather than waiting months or longer for satisfactory results.Posture Podiatry now has access to a unique Sever's Disease Heel Pain Treatment Program. Click To Tweet
Who Is Affected By Sever’s Disease?
This condition is commonly seen in active children between the ages of 8 and 15 years. This type of kids heel pain is a common cause of foot pain, particularly in young, physically active children and teenagers. It tends to be more prominent in boys than girls and usually develops during the rapid growth years around puberty.
This type of heel pain in children can be quite disabling and tends to affect those children who are very busy with sporting activities. Children will commonly complain of pain after football, soccer, basketball, netball and/or tennis.
What Are The Symptoms Of Sever’s Disease?
In the initial stages of the condition, most children displaying signs of Sever’s disease will tend to “limp” off the oval, sports field or sports court and complain of sore heels near the end of activity. Limping during or after sport is commonly seen.
As the condition progresses, children may complain of pain during activity especially with running and jumping activities. Increased sporting participation will tend to cause a proportionate increase in pain.
In very severe cases, pain prior to sporting activities may be present. Pain with arising from rest in the morning and walking on the toes may be seen if the condition becomes extremely severe.
Clinically, a podiatrist will typically find severe discomfort with squeezing of the heel bone from either side of the heel.
Where Can I Get Help For Sever’s Disease?
Ask about Posture Podiatry’s “Initial GAP FREE* Assessment Offer” for Sever’s Disease or Call 8362 5900 .
What Is The Best Sever’s Disease Treatment?
There is NO single treatment modality which has been proven to be better than others in the long term treatment and management of pain as a result of Sever’s disease. This is why a structured heel pain treatment program with a specific combination of modalities at just the right time produces the best results.
The good news is… this heel pain in children is very simple to treat and children usually respond very quickly to treatment once treatment of Sever’s disease commences.
Gavin Daly, Tom Kolesnik and Tess Carey have over 40 years of combined experience in treating this type of foot problem. The Posture Podiatry “Sever’s Disease Heel Pain Treatment Program” was developed after 30 years of clinical experience in the treatment of this disorder. The end result has been a specific treatment regimen designed to help eliminate this common cause of foot pain within just a few weeks.
The Adelaide Podiatrists at Posture Podiatry now have access to this program to help your child obtain the fastest possible heel pain relief.The Posture Podiatry Sever's Disease Heel Pain Treatment Program was developed after 30 years of clinical experience Click To Tweet
If this condition affects both feet, the diagnosis can usually be made clinically. If only one foot is affected then x-rays may be considered necessary as a way of ensuring an accurate diagnosis. X-rays should always be taken of both feet even when only one foot or heel is painful. This is important to ensure serious problems such as bone infection or bone tumours are not overlooked. Even in cases where both feet have been affected, x-rays or MRI scans should be carried out if a child is failing to respond to conservative treatment.
Treatment of Sever’s disease usually involves a combination of the following:
- Ice application after activity
- Advice and guidance on training errors and / or activity review
- Review of training surfaces
- Specialised shoe inserts and/or modifications
- Specific stretching and strengthening exercises.
- Orthotic inserts with specific Sever’s disease modifications may be needed where the tractional forces on the heel growth plate requires reduction
- Anti-inflammatory measures
- Footwear review, assessment and advice
Treatment of Sever’s disease does NOT require surgery. This foot condition responds very well to conservative treatment usually within a matter of weeks.
If your child suffers from heel pain, be sure to get them checked out by an experienced podiatrist especially when only one foot is affected.
Sever’s disease is a self-limiting condition and will only occur during the growing years before the heel growth plate closes over. It will eventually settle down and the degree of treatment needed will depend on the level of pain experienced by the child.
Does Sever’s Disease Taping Help?
Taping or strapping may be helpful in some instances but is rarely helpful in isolation. Other treatment modalities need to be used in conjunction with the correct taping to gain the best results quickly.
Do Sever’s Disease Exercises Really Help?
The “right” exercises at the “wrong” time can make things worse. Our podiatrists will provide specific personal guidance on what exercises should be completed at the right time to give your child the best possible chance of eliminating their painful heels as fast as possible.
What Else Can Cause Heel Pain In Children?
Problems including fractures, bursitis, ankle sprains, stress fractures, juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, tumours and tendinitis are all possible causes which need to be ruled out during the assessment and diagnostic stage.
Where Can I Get Help For Sever’s Disease?
You can always BOOK ONLINE for an Initial Gap Free* Assessment or Call 8362 5900 to schedule a Gap Free* examination to see if we can help. We’ll help you find the right solution to alleviate your pain. Terms and conditions apply as detailed below.
*To qualify you will need private health insurance that covers you for Podiatry consultation and examination. Terms & conditions apply. Minimum rebates applicable.