What Is Sever’s Disease?
Sever’s Disease is a common foot concern found in children. This can affect active, healthy children and causes pain in one or both heels. It is most likely that pain will occur after walking, running or engaging in physical activity. Sever’s disease can cause swelling and irritation, primarily on the underside or the back of the heel.
Sever’s Disease is also called calcaneal apophysitis. The calcaneal is the heel bone and apophysitis means painful inflammation of the plate of the foot. Sever’s is commonly recorded in children aged 8 – 14 year olds.
Symptoms and Causes of Sever’s Disease?
Foot pain, and even lower leg or knee pain is extremely common in children or adolescents, due to the fact that they are constantly growing. In most children, the heel bone (calcaneus) is not fully developed until the age of 14 or older. Until then, new bone is forming at the growth plate of the foot (the apophysis, located at the back of the heel), an area which is softer than others due to its role in accommodating the growth.
Repetitive stress on the growth plate due to walking, running and sports causes inflammation in the heel area. Because the heel's growth plate is sensitive, repeated running and pounding on hard surfaces can result in paediatric heel pain. Children and adolescents who take part in a lot of sport are especially vulnerable. Over-pronation (fallen arches and rolling inwards of the feet) will increase the impact on the growth plate and is therefore a significant cause and a major contributing factor to heel pain in children. Symptoms of Sever’s Disease includes:
- Obvious redness and heat in the heel
- Limping or avoiding putting weight on the feet
- Pain in the heel
Sever’s Disease is a misnomer. Although it is referenced as a disease, it is not contagious.