Sever’s Disease: The Painful Condition That Affects the Achilles Heel

Sever’s Disease: The Painful Condition That Affects the Achilles Heel

Sever’s disease is a common condition that affects children and adolescents. It is caused by inflammation of the growth plate in the heel bone, which is the area where the bone grows. This inflammation can cause pain and discomfort in the heel.

The growth plate is a soft area of tissue at the end of bones. It is responsible for the growth of bones. Sever’s disease occurs when the growth plate in the heel bone becomes inflamed due to overuse.

Who is at Risk for Sever’s Disease?

Sever’s disease is most common in children and adolescents who are active and participate in sports that involve a lot of running and jumping, such as basketball, soccer, and track and field. It is also more common in children who have flat feet or high arches.

What are the Symptoms of Sever’s Disease?

The most common symptom of Sever’s disease is pain in the heel. The pain is usually worse when the child stands up after resting, when they walk or run, and when they go up and down stairs. The pain may also be worse at night.

Other symptoms of Sever’s disease may include:

  • Swelling in the heel
  • Tenderness in the heel
  • Difficulty walking or running
  • Limping

Causes of Sever’s Disease

The exact cause of Sever’s disease is not fully understood. However, it is thought to be caused by overuse of the heel bone. This can happen when a child participates in sports that involve a lot of running and jumping. The repeated stress on the heel bone can cause inflammation of the growth plate.

Other factors that may increase the risk of Sever’s disease include:

  • Flat feet
  • High arches
  • Tight calf muscles
  • Growth spurts
  • Genetics

Diagnosis of Sever’s Disease

The diagnosis of Sever’s disease is usually made by a doctor based on the child’s symptoms and medical history. The doctor may also examine the child’s heel and may order X-rays or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to confirm the diagnosis.

Treatment of Sever’s Disease

The treatment for Sever’s disease depends on the severity of the condition. Mild cases of Sever’s disease may respond to rest, ice, compression, and elevation (RICE). This means applying ice to the heel for 20 minutes at a time, several times a day. The child should also avoid activities that put stress on the heel, such as running and jumping.

In more severe cases of Sever’s disease, the child may need to wear orthotics or other supportive devices. Orthotics are devices that are inserted into the shoes to provide support for the heel. The child may also need to do stretching and strengthening exercises for the calf muscles.

In rare cases, surgery may be necessary to treat Sever’s disease. Surgery is usually only recommended for children who have not responded to other treatments.

Prevention of Sever’s Disease

There are a few things that can be done to prevent Sever’s disease:

  • Avoid activities that put stress on the heel, such as running and jumping.
  • Stretch and strengthen the calf muscles.
  • Wear supportive shoes.
  • Control your weight.

Other Treatment Options

In addition to the treatment options mentioned above, there are a number of other things that can be done to help manage Sever’s disease. These include:

  • Using over-the-counter pain medication, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen.
  • Getting regular massages.
  • Using a heel cup or pad to provide additional support for the heel.

Living with Sever’s Disease

Sever’s disease can be a frustrating condition for children and their families. However, it is important to remember that the condition is usually temporary and will go away on its own. With proper treatment, most children with Sever’s disease are able to return to their normal activities within a few weeks or months.

The Role of Genetics in Sever’s Disease

There is some evidence that genetics may play a role in the development of Sever’s disease. A study¹ published in the journal The American Journal of Sports Medicine found that children who had a family history of Sever’s disease were more likely to develop the condition themselves.

The study also found that children with certain genetic mutations were more likely to develop Sever’s disease. These mutations were associated with the growth plate in the heel bone.

However, more research is needed to confirm the role of genetics in Sever’s disease.

The Impact of Sever’s Disease on Athletic Performance

Sever’s disease can have a significant impact on athletic performance. Children with Sever’s disease may have difficulty participating in sports that involve running and jumping. This can be frustrating for the child and their parents, and it can also affect the child’s social life.

In some cases, Sever’s disease can be severe enough to require surgery. However, most children with Sever’s disease are able to recover with conservative treatment.

The Latest Research on Sever’s Disease

There is ongoing research into Sever’s disease. Researchers are studying the role of genetics, the best treatments for the condition, and ways to prevent it.

One area of research is the use of orthotics to treat Sever’s disease. Orthotics are devices that are inserted into the shoes to provide support for the heel. Studies have shown that orthotics can be effective in treating Sever’s disease.

Another area of research is the use of platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections to treat Sever’s disease. PRP is a concentrated form of platelets that are taken from the patient’s own blood. PRP injections have been shown to be effective in treating a variety of conditions, including Sever’s disease.

More research is needed to determine the best treatment for Sever’s disease. However, the latest research suggests that there are a number of effective treatments available.

Conclusion

Sever’s disease is a common condition that affects children and adolescents. It is caused by inflammation of the growth plate in the heel bone. The condition can be treated with rest, ice, compression, and elevation (RICE), orthotics, stretching and strengthening exercises, or surgery. By following the tips in this article, you can help prevent Sever’s disease and keep your child’s feet healthy.

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For orthotic solutions that you can start immediately to help manage the symptoms of Sever’s disease, Lightfeet offers a variety of podiatry-approved thongs, insoles for a variety of activities, and socks available for order.