Sever’s disease, also known as calcaneal apophysitis, is a common condition that affects children and adolescents during a growth spurt. It primarily impacts the growth plate in the heel bone, causing pain and discomfort. In this response, we will delve into the symptoms of Sever’s disease and the available treatment options.

What Are The Symptoms of Sever’s Disease?

Heel Pain

The most common symptom is pain in the back or bottom of the heel, typically worsened by physical activity.


The affected area may be sensitive to touch or pressure.

Limping or Difficulty Walking

Children may alter their gait to relieve the pain.


The foot and ankle may feel stiff, especially after periods of rest.


Mild swelling around the heel area may occur.

Causes and Risk Factors

Sever’s disease is caused by the repetitive stress and pulling forces exerted on the growth plate at the back of the heel. During periods of rapid growth, the soft tissue and muscles often grow faster than the bones, resulting in tension and pressure on the growth plate. This condition is more commonly observed in active children participating in sports activities, particularly those involving running and jumping. Additionally, factors such as tight calf muscles, flat feet, or high arches can contribute to the development of Sever’s disease.

Treatment for Sever’s Disease

Rest and modified activity

Avoiding high-impact activities that aggravate the symptoms is a crucial first step. Switching to low-impact exercises like swimming or biking can help maintain fitness levels without exacerbating the condition.

Ice therapy

Applying ice to the affected area for 15-20 minutes several times a day can help reduce inflammation and ease pain.

Stretching exercises

Regular stretching exercises, particularly for the calf muscles, can alleviate tension on the heel. Simple stretches such as calf stretches against a wall or using a towel to stretch the foot can be beneficial.

Shoe modifications

Wearing supportive and cushioned shoes with good arch support can help reduce strain on the heel. Inserts or orthotics may also provide additional support and cushioning.

Physical therapy

In some cases, a healthcare professional may recommend physical therapy to address muscle imbalances, improve flexibility, and strengthen the lower limb muscles.


Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen or naproxen can be used to temporarily relieve pain and reduce inflammation. However, it is important to consult a healthcare professional before using these medications, especially for long-term use.

Heel cups or pads

These devices, worn inside the shoe, provide cushioning and shock absorption, reducing pressure on the heel during activities.

It’s worth noting that Sever’s disease is self-limiting and gradually resolves as the growth plate matures and closes. Most children recover fully with proper care and management. However, it’s essential to consult a podiatrist for an accurate diagnosis and personalized treatment plan. They can provide guidance on the best course of action based on the severity of symptoms and individual circumstances.

Remember that each case of Sever’s disease may vary, so it’s important to follow professional medical advice and monitor progress closely. With appropriate care, most children can successfully overcome Sever’s disease and return to their regular activities pain-free.

If your child is experiencing any symptoms, contact Bayshore Podiatry today at 813-877-6636 for a proper diagnosis. By properly managing your symptoms and taking the necessary steps to prevent future issues, you can continue to live an active and pain-free lifestyle.

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