Understanding Sever’s Disease: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment Options

Understanding Sever’s Disease: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment Options

As children grow, so do their bones and muscles. Unfortunately, this growth process sometimes leads to a condition known as Sever’s Disease. Also called calcaneal apophysitis, Sever’s Disease is a common ailment that affects young athletes, particularly those involved in high-impact sports. In this article, we will delve deeper into this condition by discussing its causes, symptoms, and treatment options.

Causes of Sever’s Disease

Sever’s Disease arises when the growth plate in the heel bone (the calcaneus) becomes inflamed. During a child’s physical development, the heel bone experiences a lot of pressure from the muscles and tendons that attach to it. These forces cause micro-trauma to the growth plate, which over time, can lead to inflammation, tenderness, and pain.

Several factors contribute to the development of Sever’s Disease, including:

Growth spurts

During growth spurts, bones and muscles develop at different rates, leading to imbalances and a higher likelihood of injury.

High-impact sports

Activities that involve running or jumping, such as basketball, soccer, gymnastics, and dance, can put a lot of stress on the heel bone, leading to damage and pain.

Flat feet

People with flat feet or high arches are more susceptible to Sever’s Disease since their foot structures alter the amount of pressure placed on the heel bone.

Symptoms of Sever’s Disease

The most prominent symptom of Sever’s Disease is heel pain, which is usually felt at the back or bottom of the heel, especially during activities that involve running or jumping. The pain may worsen over time and become severe enough to affect daily activities. Other symptoms of the condition include:

Swelling and redness

Inflamed growth plates can cause swelling and redness around the heel.


A stiff feeling in the heel or difficulty walking can also be a sign of Sever’s Disease.


Tenderness around the heel can occur in people with Sever’s Disease.

Treatment Options

The treatment of Sever’s Disease involves both rest and management of the condition’s underlying causes. Since the condition is linked to growth and development, it often resolves itself with time. However, the following treatments can alleviate the symptoms and speed up the healing process:


Resting the affected foot is critical to prevent worsening of the condition.


Applying ice to the affected area can reduce swelling and pain.


Stretching exercises can aid in improving the flexibility of the calf muscles.


Proper footwear with adequate cushioning and arch support can lessen the force on the heel bone.


Over-the-counter pain medications like ibuprofen or acetaminophen can help reduce pain and inflammation.


In conclusion, Sever’s Disease is a common condition that affects young athletes due to the stresses placed on their heel bones. With appropriate rest and management, the condition can resolve itself, and the individual can return to their usual activities. Early recognition of the condition, along with appropriate treatment, can help to minimize the pain and discomfort associated with Sever’s Disease.

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