Your Total Foot Care

Sever`s Disease

As children grow and engage in physical activities, they may occasionally experience heel pain. One common cause of heel pain in children is Sever’s Disease, also known as calcaneal apophysitis. While the name may sound alarming, Sever’s Disease is a temporary condition that primarily affects active children during their growth spurts. In this article, we will delve into the details of Sever’s Disease, exploring its causes, symptoms, treatment options, and preventive measures.

What is Sever's Disease?

Sever’s Disease is not actually a disease but an overuse injury that affects the growth plate in the heel bone (calcaneus). It occurs when the growth plate becomes inflamed due to repetitive stress or tension placed on the area. Typically, this condition arises during pre-adolescence or early adolescence when children experience growth spurts and their bones and muscles are adapting.

Causes and Risk Factors:

Several factors contribute to the development of Sever’s Disease, including:

  • Growth spurts: Rapid bone growth can lead to muscle and tendon tightness, putting more strain on the heel.
  • Physical activities: High-impact sports like running, jumping, and soccer that involve repetitive heel strikes increase the risk of developing Sever’s Disease.
  • Foot structure: Flat feet or high arches can alter the distribution of forces in the foot, placing additional stress on the growth plate.
  • Improper footwear: Wearing unsupportive shoes without proper cushioning can exacerbate the condition.

Recognizing the Symptoms:

Sever’s Disease can cause the following symptoms:

  • Heel pain: The primary symptom is pain or tenderness in the back or bottom of the heel, particularly during physical activities or walking.
  • Swelling and redness: The affected heel may appear swollen and feel warm to the touch.
  • Limping or difficulty walking: Children may exhibit a limp or experience discomfort while walking or participating in sports.
  • Increased pain in the morning or after periods of rest: Pain may be more pronounced after periods of inactivity, such as in the morning or after sitting for a while.

Treatment and Management:

Fortunately, Sever’s Disease is self-limiting and typically resolves on its own once the growth plate matures. However, the following measures can help manage symptoms and promote healing:

  1. Rest and activity modification: Reducing or modifying activities that exacerbate symptoms allows the heel to recover. Low-impact exercises or sports can be alternatives during this time.
  2. Ice therapy: Applying ice to the affected area for 15-20 minutes several times a day can help reduce inflammation and alleviate pain.
  3. Stretching and strengthening exercises: Gentle stretching exercises and calf-strengthening exercises can improve flexibility and reduce tension in the muscles and tendons.
  4. Supportive footwear: Wearing well-cushioned shoes with good arch support can minimize heel pressure and provide additional comfort.
  5. Orthotic devices: In some cases, a podiatrist may recommend heel cups or custom orthotic inserts to provide support and cushioning to the affected area.
  6. Pain management: Over-the-counter pain relievers, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen, may be used to manage pain, following the appropriate dosage for children.

Prevention and Proactive Measures:

To reduce the risk of Sever’s Disease or its recurrence, consider the following preventive measures:

  • Encourage adequate rest and recovery periods between physical activities.
  • Promote a gradual increase in activity levels and avoid sudden spikes in intensity.
  • Ensure proper footwear with cushioning and arch support.
  • Emphasize stretching and warm-up exercises before sports or physical activities.
  • Maintain a healthy and balanced diet to support optimal bone health.

Sever’s Disease is a common cause of heel pain in active children during growth spurts. While it can be uncomfortable, this condition is temporary and typically resolves with time and appropriate management. By understanding the causes, recognizing the symptoms, and implementing the recommended treatments and preventive measures, parents and caregivers can effectively support their children’s healing process and promote their overall foot health. If symptoms persist or worsen, it is advisable to consult a podiatrist for a thorough evaluation and guidance.

Don't let your child's foot pain limit their daily activities or hinder their enjoyment of life.

Looking for an expert to address your child’s foot pain? Seek no further! At Your Total Foot Care Specialist, we specialize in providing expert guidance and personalized care for foot-ankle conditions, including Sever’s Disease. We understand the unique needs of children and are dedicated to helping them find relief from foot pain and get back to their active lifestyles.

Our team of experienced board-cetified podiatrists is committed to delivering exceptional care tailored specifically to your child’s needs. We stay updated with the latest advancements in pediatric foot care to ensure that we provide the most effective treatment options available.

Make your appointment today! Our friendly and knowledgeable staff are here to answer any questions you may have and guide you through the process. Send us an email at or call us at 281.395.FEET (3338).You may also visit our offices at Katy, Memorial, Galleria, Cypress, and Copperfield. Let us help your child find relief and regain their mobility and happiness.