Sever’s Disease

Children between 8 and 14 years old may develop inflammation of the heel at the area of the growth plate. The growth plate is the place where new bone growth forms at the back of the heel. As with any inflammation, there is pain with this condition, especially upon walking. The inflammation can occur in one or both heels. Symptoms also include limping and walking on the balls of the feet. Pain is felt if the heel is squeezed. Cause When the stress on the growth plate is too great for the heel to handle, pain and inflammation result, bringing the diagnosis of Sever’s Disease. Too much walking, running, sprinting or other athletic activity may be a precipitating factor in this disorder. Obesity may also add to the compressive forces placed on the heel and cause this disorder. Faulty biomechanics of the foot such as a foot with no arch or a high arch or a tight Achilles tendon may also be a cause. Treatment and Prevention Treatment must always include the following: 1. A cast in severe cases 2. Children’s orthotic Arch Supports to support the heel and restore proper biomechanics 3. Heel support which is cushioned to lessen the forces on the foot 5. Physical therapy 6. Painkillers and possibly anti-inflammatory drugs for a short time period only Prevention involves not increasing athletic activity quickly and correcting any faulty biomechanics of the foot with orthotic inserts in the shoes.