What is Sever’s?
- Seen in young kids (adolescents) when their bones are still maturing. Usually the bone grows quicker than the muscle, pulling the tendon on the bone, causing pain.
- The points where tendons attach onto the bone often become inflamed.
- In Severs Disease it is where the Achilles tendon attaches onto the heel (calcaneum). It is common in young athletes involved in running and jumping sports, especially little athletics!
- It is particularly common in Boys at the age of 10 - 14.
- As they get older this resolves and they then get Osgood schlatters – tendinitis at the knee (below the knee cap)!
What do I look for?
- Pain at the back of the heel around the Achilles attachment.
- Tightness in the calf region. The kids will find it difficult to keep their knees straight in normal standing.
- Pain with running, walking, heel raises or calf stretches.
- Pain lasting for a period of time after activity.
What causes it?
- Sudden growth spurt
- Tight calf muscles
- Poor foot posture/ incorrect footwear
- Lower limb muscle imbalances.
- Increasing physical activity
- Physiotherapy immediately, if you wait you will need more time off your sport and you will end up having more treatments.
- Massage the calves (rollers will be too painful)
- Ice the sore area 20 minutes x2/day
- No jumping/running/stairs
- Check shoes are wearing evenly
- Heel wedges in shoes until the muscles/tendons lengthen
- Possibly orthotics
It is important to have this problem addressed as early as possible. The aim is always to keep the child involved in sport and activity, as complete rest will not usually help, and can lead to children staying inactive.
The problem will eventually resolve itself, but if not correctly addressed, can cause excess pain, and a dislike of physical activity.
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