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What is Sever’s Disease?

  • An overuse, “traction” injury that affects the back (posterior) aspect of the heel
  • Caused by repetitive stress of the Achilles tendon where it inserts on the heel bone (calcaneus)
  • Medically referred to as Calcaneal apophysitis

Common Signs and Symptoms of Sever’s Disease

  • Localized swelling and posterior heel pain (where Achilles inserts into calcaneus or heel bone)
  • Can affect 1 or both heels
  • Pain with activity

Who Is Affected by Sever’s Disease?

  • Adolescents ages 8-15 who are active or are physically active or participate in sports that involve running, jumping or continued impact (i.e., basketball, soccer, track and gymnastics)
  • The growth plate located on the calcaneus closes between ages 12 and 15 years

How Do You Treat Sever’s Disease?

Sever’s disease is generally treated conservatively and includes:

  • Rest
  • Avoidance or modification of activities that provoke symptoms (i.e., running and jumping)
  • Stretching and strengthening program of the calf and lower leg musculature
  • In some cases the use of a walking boot may be needed
  • Use of heel cups in shoe wear can help to reduce the tension on the Achilles tendon

Additional pain management can include:

  • Over the counter anti-inflammatories
  • Ice following activity

Treatment is multifaceted and a single treatment option may not be sufficient. That is why it is important to utilize rest as well as stretching and strengthening to have the best possible outcome in regards to function.

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