Sever's disease is a painful irritation in the heel bone of the foot. It is the most common cause of heel pain in children and teens.
Sever’s disease is also called calcaneal apophysitis.
Your child’s heel bone keeps forming new bone until the late teens. The new bone is weak and can be damaged by running or pounding on hard surfaces, like during a basketball game. The new bone may also be irritated by shoes with poor padding in the heels or poor arch supports. Tight muscles and tendons can also put pressure on the areas of new bone.
Your child’s heel hurts. Running and jumping usually make the heel hurt more. Your child may walk on his toes to keep the heel from hurting.
Your child’s healthcare provider will ask about your child’s symptoms, medical history, and activities and examine your child. Tests may include X-rays or other scans.
Your child may need to change or stop doing the activities that cause pain until the growth plate heals.
Your child needs to wear shoes with good padding in the heels and good arch support. Special shoes or shoe inserts may help. Your child may need to do stretching and strengthening exercises.
Pain from Sever's disease may last weeks to months. The pain may come back if your child returns to sports or strenuous activities too soon.
Ask your child’s healthcare provider:
Make sure you know when your child should come back for a checkup.
The best way to prevent Sever's disease is to make sure that your child wears shoes that fit properly. The heel portion of the shoe should not be too tight, and there should be good padding in the heel. It may help to put extra heel pads in your child's shoes. Stretching before exercise also helps.
Some children simply get too much physical activity. For example, they may play on too many teams or practice for too long. Their heel pain is a message to slow down.