Sever’s disease

What is Sever’s disease?

Sever’s disease isn’t a disease; it’s an overuse injury of the heel.. Usually heel pain begins after a few weeks of a running or jumping activity. Frequently, it’s children who participate in cross-country running, basketball or soccer who experience Sever’s.

The pain indicates swelling or inflammation in the heel. Your body is trying to tell you to slow down and let the muscles get used to the activity before working harder. The pain is caused by the pull of the Achilles tendon on the growth plate of the heel. In Sever’s disease, the heel looks normal, but is tender to pressure, even walking.

X-rays appear normal in spite of the pain. The growth plate looks very white in color, and may even look cracked. This is normal even in kids without pain. If X-rays are ordered, the health-care provider may be looking for pain causes other than Sever’s.

Treatment

Treatment is based on reducing the swelling while continuing activity and sports—usually at a slower pace. Typically it takes a few weeks for the pain to go away.
Here are some things you can do to help relieve the pain:

  • Stretching. Stretch before and after activities to ease the pull of the Achilles on the heel. Stretching in the morning eases the pain that makes you want to walk on your toes.
  • Add a soft insert, or “heel cup” inside the shoe. This cradles the heel and absorbs pressure to help lessen the pain of impact.
  • Take ibuprofen. An hour or so before activity, take ibuprofen as directed for the child’s age. This can help pain and ease inflammation. Stronger medication should not be needed.
  • Ice. Applying ice around fifteen minutes after the activity will help ease pain until the body gets used to the new activity. Don’t forget to stretch after the activity as well.

Stretches to help ease pain with Sever’s disease

Hamstring stretches

Lie flat on the ground and lift one leg. Extend the knee fully with the leg perpendicular to the rest of your body. Hold the leg in place for a count of 20, and then stretch the other leg. Repeat at least 5 times for each leg.

Sit on the ground with legs fully extended. Reach and grasp the toe of the left foot with the left hand. Hold for 20 seconds. Reach for the right toe with the right hand and hold for 20 seconds. Repeat at least 5 times each leg.

Achilles stretches

Sitting on the edge of a chair or floor, pull a towel tightly around one foot. Point and flex the toe against the tightly held towel five times. Hold each position for a count of five.
Repeat the stretches with the knee extended.

Stand and lean against the wall with one foot several inches in front of the other. Lean forward, keeping the back knee straight and bending the front knee. Keep the back foot heel on the floor. Repeat with each side at least five times.

Orthopedics – 5678

Contact Us

Connect with Norton Children’s Orthopedics of Louisville.

(502) 394-5678

Family discovers child’s brain tumor after routine eye checkup

Three-year-old Apphia Rosenthal started a regular day last summer eating eggs and chatting with her parents. She was excited about what color glasses she would choose if she needed them (she was thinking something in […]

Read Full Story

Why you should ask your nurses or doctors to clean their hands

We often give reminders to our kids and family members about washing their hands. After all, it’s a do-it-yourself vaccine that can help prevent flu and other disease, and keep infections at bay. Did you […]

Read Full Story

Revolutionary CAR-T cell therapy for leukemia treatment coming to Louisville

Kids with leukemia in the Louisville area soon will be able to get the next big advance in treatment, a revolutionary immunotherapy known as CAR-T (chimeric antigen receptor T cells) therapy. In CAR-T therapy, a […]

Read Full Story

Pilot School-based Telemedicine Program available to JCPS students at select schools

Thanks to a new collaboration between Norton Healthcare and Jefferson County Public Schools, students at three schools have access to online medical care while at school. The pilot School-based Telemedicine Program allows a child to […]

Read Full Story

7 questions to ask before your child gets general anesthesia

If your child needs surgery that will involve general anesthesia, it’s important to know that pediatric patients have unique needs.   Their brains and bodies are still developing, and administering anesthesia to pediatric patients is […]

Read Full Story

Search our entire site.