Sever’s Disease | My Health Team

Sever’s Disease

Sever’s Disease

What is it?
Sever’s disease is a chronic, non-inflammatory injury to the developing bone at the heel. It is caused by repetitive stress, so is very common in adolescent athletes. Sever’s disease is an overuse injury, therefore can be caused by an increase in training, starting a new sport or other unaccustomed activity. Foot posture, lower limb biomechanics and sporting technique can also have an impact, so it is worth having these assessed.
Signs and symptoms
The key characteristic of Sever’s disease is pain that is localised to back of the heel. Symptoms are aggravated by impact activities such as running and jumping. The physical appearance is non remarkable with minor swelling and usually no redness. Radiographic imaging are almost always normal so the condition is diagnosed clinically.

How is it managed?
Sever’s disease is treated conservatively and treatment usually goes through several phases. Initially, pain control is most important, so, like other developmental conditions, activity modification is the most importance factor in controlling symptoms. Consulting a podiatrist, physiotherapist or exercise physiologist for assessment and advice regarding exercise loads is important and should happen early. Ice can also be important, so 20 minutes every two to four hours when symptoms are moderate to severe.
Once pain is under control, the next step should be to improving range of motion, strength, biomechanics, and finally, correcting running, jumping and landing techniques. A health professional can guide you through an appropriate program.

Nicolas Mascali

Physiotherapist

References
Brukner, P. Khan, K (2012). Clinical Sports Medicine (4th ed.). North Ryde, NSW. McGraw Hill.

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