What are the Symptoms of Sever’s Disease?
The symptoms of Sever’s disease are often fairly straightforward:
- Pain and tenderness, typically along the underside of the heel
- Mild swelling and redness
- A feeling of stiffness in the feet when getting up in the morning, or after long periods of sitting
- An increase in pain after running, which might cause limping
What can sometimes be tricky, as noted earlier, is your child being upfront with you about their symptoms. Look for signs of trouble, including a lack of interest in doing activities they normally love, and make sure the lines of communication between you and your child are open as best as possible if you suspect there may be a problem.
Treating Heel Pain and Sever’s Disease
Sever’s disease can be diagnosed through a standard physical examination. However, we might recommend an X-ray or other imaging test for some cases, often to rule out the possibility of a stress fracture or other condition.
The good news is that Sever’s disease is easily treatable in most cases. However, it will almost always require a period of rest to allow the heel bone the time and opportunity necessary to heal.
A child who is active in sports might not like to hear that, but rest is nonetheless important. And it does not necessarily mean they have to be completely sedentary, either. Certain lower-impact activities might still be possible, and we are always happy to help you and your child determine a plan to remain active during recovery without risking further problems. (We want them to keep moving!)
Additional parts of a treatment plan might include:
- Specific stretches and exercises that can condition the Achilles tendon and reduce the “pull” on the heel bone.
- Anti-inflammatory medications.
- Heel cushions or pads to help absorb excess impacts during activity.
- Slightly elevating the heel (through footwear choices) to lessen stress on the heel bone.
In some cases, we might recommend advanced treatments such as laser therapy to accelerate healing.