The childhood condition known as Sever’s disease is a condition that affects the heel in a painful way during development. It is typically the result of repetitive activities such as sporting endeavours, for example. The disease, which is also called calcaneal apophysitis, can interfere with the important formative years of a sporting career as well as causing pain and discomfort more generally. Treatments are available, but if the person wants to continue their activities then this will amount only to managing the damage rather than curing it.
Sever’s disease happens when the growing tendons and bone of the heel are exposed to overuse. The tissue damage may be recognised as a painful or discomforting sensation upon wakening or during or after any exercise that makes use of the heel. It may also manifest when pressure is placed on the area, such as by squeezing it. This can result in a limp afflicting the sufferer.
If it comes it will probably that the disease appears at roughly 11 years old. But it could be present from as early as 7 years old and on up to about 15. To some extent this will also depend on when the repetitive activity is first begun or when a new season starts as well. It will start when a sport such as running or football is taken up or any other repetitive activity that puts pressure on the heel particularly often.
Treating the problem could be done quite easily by simply allowing the heel the proper amount of time that it needs to rest and recover. But this would mean refraining from the repetitive activity that is causing the disease. This is too too much to ask of someone during the formative years of an athletics career so this means that the symptoms of the disease need to manage so as to minimise the damage and pain that is caused.
There are a variety of physical ways to deal with the problem such as raising the heel, for example, or by providing it with compression, or using ice treatment, along with whatever rest can be afforded within the requirements of the program. The use of foot orthotics, which are devices to give support, can also be used. The heel should certainly be kept supple by the use of stretching exercises for the hamstring and the calf and these can be done several times a day. Medications can also be used to alleviate the pain. Ultimately, the condition will heal on its own, anyway when the developmental process is over.