Foot injuries

Severs Disease – The Injured Runner

Severs Disease is an ominous name for a simple inflammatory condition that affects the area where the Achilles tendon attaches to the heel. It is most common in children who are growing rapidly and involved in sports such as soccer, basketball, and running.

Your child’s bones are growing at a faster rate than the tendon, resulting in extra tension where the tendon attaches to the bone. Combine this tightness with increased activity, and you get heel pain.

If your child is limping we recommend not allowing them to run. Pain after activity is acceptable as long as you are working on the following treatments.

  • A heel lift will help decrease strain on the tendon.
  • Stretching exercises are essential to decrease the tension of the Achilles tendon pulling on the heel. These stretches may be painful at first, start gently and increase the effort as pain decreases. See bent knee calf stretches and straight knee calf stretches.
  • Ice is particularly effective for this condition.
  • Physical therapists can apply a treatment called iontophoresis, which is the use of an electrical current to apply a steroid medication over the sore area.