First and foremost, despite its name Sever’s is not a disease. It’s a painful condition that will resolve in weeks, months or even years. Clinically referred to as Calcaneal Apophysitis, Sever’s is usually coined growing pains, though this does not describe how and why the pain occurs.
Sever’s is the abnormal tension (pull) on the heel bone, which irritates the nearby growth plate that is present in children’s bones. Growth plates are located on the ends of growing bones and will eventually turn into solid bone when we reach full maturity. As we grow, our bones, muscles and tissues all grow and lengthen too. In Sever’s, the Achilles tendon (which connects to the calf muscles and into the back of the heel) hasn’t developed and stretched at the same rate that the heel bone has been growing, the resulting tension and pull on the back of the heel which becomes very painful.
Anything that increases the strain on the achilles/calves/heels can exacerbate this pain, including:
Symptoms often occur between 8-14 years of age, as for most kids this is where they will experience periods of rapid growth. They may feel:
They key is not only to settle the symptoms but treat the cause, so that it doesn’t keep coming back for months or years. This means working on the tight musculature to restore normal function. After using rest and ice to reduce the pain if it arises, treatment to eliminate Sever’s pain long-term may include the combination of:
While Sever’s is a frustrating, painful and upsetting condition, you don’t need to put up with it or wait months hoping that it will resolve. We will work to get your little one back on the field and doing the things they love as quickly as possible.