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Pain
Solutions

Sever’s Disease Treatment

Do not let your child's growing pains slow them down. Medi-Dyne has a range of physical therapy products for Sever's Disease treatment.

Sever's disease can make your child's teenage growth spurts a painful experience. Despite the name, this is not actually a disease - it is a heel injury.

Because of growth spurts, your child's heel bone develops faster than the surrounding leg muscles, ligaments, and tendons. In fact, your child's heel is one of their first body parts to achieve full adult size. If the associated structures in the leg do not grow at an equally fast rate, they will be overstretched.

If you have a particularly active child who plays sports like gymnastics, basketball, or soccer that involve a lot of jumping or running on hard surfaces, they can put additional strain on already overstretched ligaments and tendons. The tension results in pain and swelling at the point where the growing heel is attached to the tendons.

Boys are more likely to suffer from Sever's disease. Because their growth spurts come later than those of girls, the condition typically occurs between the ages of 10 and 15. On the other hand, girls usually experience it between the ages of 8 and 13.

Sever’s disease often occurs during the same period in a child’s growth as Osgood-Schlatter disease.

Causes

Children and adolescents' bones have a special area of cartilage at their ends to facilitate development as they get older called a growth plate. After their teenage years, when your child is fully grown, these growth plates are replaced by solid bone. Before this happens, the growth plates are much weaker than the surrounding ligaments and tendons, making them vulnerable to trauma.

This condition affects the area of bone growth at the back of the child's heel. This growth plate is the anchor point for your child's Achilles tendon – a strong band of tissue that connects the heel bone to their calf muscles at the back of the leg.

Repeated jumping, running, and other high-impact play and sports activities can cause stress of the heel bone growth plate. The additional stress of pulling the already overstressed Achilles tendon from its attachment point causes further irritation of the area.

Symptoms

There are several factors that your doctor takes into consideration when diagnosing Sever's disease. There are:

  • How active the child is
  • A history of Sever's disease symptoms
  • Results of a physical examination

If your doctor suspects Sever's disease, he or she may perform a squeeze test, where they apply pressure on both sides of the heel to see if it causes pain. The doctor may sometimes order an MRI or x-ray to eliminate other possible causes of the heel pain.

Sports-related activity or vigorous play brings about painful symptoms for a child suffering from Sever's disease. In a few cases, both heels may exhibit symptoms of this condition, but one foot is often worse than the other.

You should contact your child's doctor as soon as possible if they start to exhibit any of the following:

  • Pain in the heel area that worsens with activity
  • Redness and tenderness to the touch
  • Stiff feet when they wake up in the morning
  • Swelling.

This condition lasts two to three months on average, though it may recur over several years in some people.

Treatment

Simple home remedies, a change in footwear, over-the-counter pain medication, rest, and a range of stretching and strength training exercises can relieve the pain of Sever's disease, allowing your child to return to their normal active lifestyle. Medi-Dyne offers the following products that help in the healing and prevention of this condition:

 

Immediate Relief

Support

  • Tuli's® The X Brace® – provides the same benefits as professional taping with out all the time and the tape.

Cushion

  • Tuli’s® Heavy Duty Heel Cup™ – Heavy Duty Heel Cups offer cushion and support to the heel, distributing the weight of the body to the outer portion of the foot.  Heel cups in children’s athletic shoes can also serve as a preventive measure against Sever’s disease.
  • Tuli's® Cheetah® Heel Cup with Compression Sleeve – are the heel and ankle supports that gymnasts and dancers count on! Tuli's® Cheetahs® provide immediate relief from heel pain by cushioning the area of pain and elevating the heel bone.

 

Long Term Healing

Stretch & Strengthen

  • ProStretch Plus® Adjustable Calf and Foot Stretcher - The ProStretch Plus can be adjusted to fit different shoe sizes so that your child can get a good, deep stretch to the plantar fascia, reducing pain and increasing healing.