What is Sever's Disease?
Sever’s Disease is a painful condition of the heel, usually occurring in children between the ages of 8 – 13 years of age. Sever’s Disease occurs during a growth spurt.
It causes pain at the back of the heel because the tendons become tight and put excessive pressure on the heel’s growth plate causing pain and inflammation. (See the picture below).
Fortunately, Sever’s disease will subside as the young heel bone completes its growth.
The podiatrists at Erica Dash Podiatry can provide support and relief for your child through this painful time.
Why is The Achilles Tendon suddenly short?
During a growth spurt, the bones grow at a rapid rate and muscles don’t grow as quickly, so they require time to catch up. It is during this “catch up” time that your child experiences heel pain, called Sever’s Disease.
What are the Symptoms of Sever’s Disease?
A child with Sever’s disease usually complains of severe heel pain and often can’t put pressure on their heel. Their heel pain is usually activity related, and if it occurs during sport, they will often limp off the field/court and not be able to continue their game.
Sever’s disease sufferer’s often walk on their toes, avoiding pressure on their heels for fear of pain.
How long does Sever’s Disease last?
Sever’s Disease usually occurs between the ages of 8 – 13 years of age. Most cases usually resolve in 6 months, however symptoms can last as long as 2 years.
How is Sever’s Disease Diagnosed?
Your podiatrist alone can usually diagnose Sever’s Disease by taking a good history and squeezing the back of the heel. X Ray is not necessary to diagnose the condition.
What Treatments are available for Severs disease?
At Erica Dash Podiatry, after a thorough history is taken and a full biomechanical assessment performed, your podiatrist will offer and recommend a range of treatment options including:
A Stretching Program:
An upper (gastrocnemius) and lower (soleus) calf stretching program will be suggested, these stretches are best performed twice daily and held for 45 seconds to ensure a good stretch of the calf muscles.
They are best performed first thing of a morning and last thing of an evening and also before and after sport (if not in pain). It is important to only stretch during pain free periods to experience the full benefit of a stretch.
The use of a temporary heel raise can often relieve mild symptoms of Sever’s Disease.
The prescription of functional foot orthoses with a unique heel cushion are often needed to correct biomechanical problems.
The podiatrists at Erica Dash podiatry have all completed further education in the prescription and fabrication of our European foot beds.
Our footbeds have a unique heel cushion and are covered in an antimicrobial, moisture wicking material to prevent sweaty, smelly feet.
They are manufactured on site by your podiatrist (no lab technicians) and if time is allocated can be presented to you within the hour. Why wait up to 3 weeks to be pain free.
Dry Needling is another treatment option offered at Erica Dash Podiatry. Dry needling can lengthen shortened muscles immediately relieving pain associated with Sever’s Disease.
This treatment is only offered if the patient agrees to it as you need to be relaxed to receive the full benefits of dry needling.
Shockwave therapy is a non-invasive therapy that combines mechanical and percussive waves to the effected body area. It increases blood flow and encourages the body’s natural healing response.
Once pain free, the team at Erica Dash podiatry are able to prescribe strengthening exercises if necessary to have you performing at your best once more.
the use of cortisone injections and surgical intervention are not recommended in the treatment of sever's disease.
Best shoes to wear for Sever’s Disease.
The best shoes to wear when suffering from Sever’s Disease are lace up shoes with a non flexible mid-sole, flexible at the toes and with a good heel drop.
What is the difference between Sever’s Disease and Plantar Fasciitis?
While both condition effect the heel, Plantar Fasciitis is the inflammation of the plantar fascia (under the foot) and Sever’s Disease is the inflammation of the growth plate on the back of the heel.