Sever's Disease is probably the most frequent cause of heel pain in children. It commonly occurs in (but is not limited to) children aged 8-14 years. Boys and girls are both equally affected by the disease, although active children seem most prone to the disease.
Activity related pain at the back of the heel bone (cal-cane-e-us) where the Achilles Tendon attaches is the most common characteristic of Sever's Disease. There may also be swelling and tenderness around this area. Sports that require a lot of running, jumping or other high impact activities are particularly associated with Severs Disease (football, basketball, gymnastics etc.).
Main contributing factors
- 8-14 years of age
- High impact activities or increased activity levels
- Excessive pronation – ‘rolled-in feet’
Treatment for Severs Disease
- RICE – rest, ice, compression & elevation
- Soft tissue massage & stretching exercise
- Heel raises and supportive strapping
- Address biomechanical abnormalities with orthotics
- Casting if very severe
What can you do?
- Footwear assessment – it may be time for a new pair
- Reduce or modify current activities
- Gradually resume normal activity as symptoms resolve
- Ice after training/ activity 15 minutes on, 2 hours off, 15 minutes on
- Stretch your lower leg muscles – but not to the point that it causes pain