What is Sever’s disease?

January 17, 2022 by Alaa Hamdy0
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Your kid enjoys exercising, but recently the pain in his heels has prevented him from doing so? Sever’s disease might be the cause, especially if your kid is nearing puberty! Let’s look more closely into Sever’s disease.

This illness is characterized by swelling and irritation in the heel, particularly in the growth plate because it is weaker and more sensitive than the rest of the bones, but there is no need to worry; following the doctor’s instructions will usually help the disease disappear within a few months without causing permanent problems.

Is your child vulnerable to Sever’s disease?

Sever’s disease most often affects kids who play sports that involve running or jumping, especially on hard surfaces such as basketball and gymnastics and occurs between the ages of 9 and 14 years old.

Sever’s disease occurs during the growth spurt of puberty because the bones, muscles, and tendons grow at a different rate, making the muscles and tendons more likely to stretch, causing the growth plate in the heel to stretch.

However, Sever’s disease can often occur as a result of prolonged standing due to constant pressure on the heel.

Furthermore, several factors may cause Sever disease, such as:

  • Flat feet injury
  • Being overweight
  • High body mass index

So, what are the symptoms of Sever’s disease?

If your kid is at high risk, check if he/she has these symptoms:

  • Pain in one or both ankles
  • Swelling and redness in the heels
  • Foot stiffness when waking up
  • Limping or walking on tiptoes
  • Pain when pressing the heel on both sides

Symptoms may also worsen during or after exercise and then the condition improves with rest.

Treatment for Sever’s disease

If your kid has Sever’s disease, the doctor may recommend some or all of the following:

  • Rest which includes reducing or even avoiding all activities that cause pain, simple exercises such as walking and swimming can be recommended.
  • Put ice in a washcloth on the heels every 1-2 hours for 15 minutes each time.
  • Use an analgesic/pain reliever such as Ibuprofen.
  • Use shoe inserts to reduce pressure on the heel.
  • Wear open shoes from the back so as not to irritate the heel.
  • Wrap a medical bandage or wear a compression stocking.
  • Physical therapy or a home exercise program to help stretch and strengthen.

Your doctor may use a leg cast for about a week if:

  • Symptoms are severe.
  • Symptoms do not improve after a few weeks of rest and treatment.

What happens after the recovery?

When the activity is not causing any pain, kids can return to all of the sports and activities they used to do following recovery, which can take two weeks to two months.

Some steps can also help your kid prevent re-occurrence of Sever disease, such as:

  • Wear appropriate athletic shoes that have a cushioned sole
  • Avoid heavy or high-heeled shoes
  • Stretching before and after activity and sports
  • Placing a towel with ice on the heels for 15 minutes after exercising
  • Use of special shoe inserts
  • Lose weight if he is overweight

Usually, after age 15, your kid will not have Sever’s disease again.


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