Sever's disease is a disorder that commonly occurs in active children between the ages of 9 and 13 years of age. Even though it is misnamed as a disease, it is actually a self-limiting disorder that
occurs around the growth plate in the back of the heel. The Achilles tendon attaches to the upper portion of the heel growth plate. On the bottom of the growth plate is an attachment of a ligament
known as the plantar fascia. With increased activity, there is a pulling or tugging that occurs on this growth plate, and a portion of the growth plate is being pulled away from its attachment to the
heel. X-rays are often taken to verify the position and location of this growth plate.
There are several theories as to the cause of this condition. These range from a tight Achilles tendon, to micro stress fractures of the calcaneal apopyhsis. The prevailing theory suggests that the
condition occurs when the child's growth plate is at its weakest. Combined with increased athletic activity, improper shoe gear and trauma the heel becomes inflamed and painful.
If your child is suffering from this disease they will be experiencing pain and tenderness in the back of their foot. This soreness can also extend to the sides of the feet. Other sure signs of this
disorder include swelling and sensitivity to touch. Because of the amount of discomfort, your child may find it difficult to walk or run. Pay attention to the way your child is walking. If you notice
unusual posture or abnormal gait they may be avoiding placing pressure on the heel. These symptoms typically become apparent during activity and exercise or directly following it. If your child is
indicating pain in their heel, schedule an appointment with us today.
A Podiatrist can easily evaluate your child?s feet, to identify if a problem exists. Through testing the muscular flexibility. If there is a problem, a treatment plan can be create to address the
issue. At the initial treatment to control movement or to support the area we may use temporary padding and strapping and depending on how successful the treatment is, a long-term treatment plan will
be arranged. This long-term treatment plan may or may not involve heel raises, foot supports, muscle strengthening and or stretching.
Non Surgical Treatment
Most patients with Sever?s Disease can be treated with a self-guided home exercise program. Your healthcare provider will discuss with you if a prescription for formal physical therapy is indicated
instead of a self-directed home or school exercise program. Rest (protection of the heel). Ice (Ice 20 minutes at a time, 2-3 times a day). Gel heel pads / inserts. Anti-inflammatory medication. Well
cushioned pair of shoes. Brace (Cheetah) *Generally given for those who cannot wear shoes during their sport. Low impact aerobic training such as walking, riding a bike, elliptical or swimming. Home
exercise program focusing on increasing the flexibility of the heel cord and calf muscle.
Exercises that help to stretch the calf muscles and hamstrings are effective at treating Sever's disease. An exercise known as foot curling, in which the foot is pointed away from the body, then
curled toward the body in order to help stretch the muscles, has also proven to be very effective at treating Sever's disease. The curling exercise should be done in sets of 10 or 20 repetitions, and
repeated several times throughout the day.