Sever’s Disease FAQs


Article by Matthew Hewitt

What is the Cause of Sever’s Disease?

Sever’s are caused by repetitive loading stress to the heel bone growth plate in growing adolescents. Microtrauma is caused by repetitive loading from running and jumping activities, which stresses the developing bone via the Achilles tendon.

Risk factors for Severs disease include high activity levels, running on hard surfaces, rapid growth, inadequate or worn-out footwear, weakness in the lower leg muscles, obesity and poor biomechanics.

How Long Does Sever’s Syndrome Last?

Sever’s syndrome typically lasts anywhere from 2 weeks to a few months, depending upon various factors, including activity levels, interventions required and growth rates.

Can You Play Sports With Sever’s Disease?

Sever’s is a self-limiting condition, so the individual’s activity is limited by pain. However, as the condition is caused by loading of the calcaneus through the Achilles, it may be recommended that running is temporarily suspended or that modifications such as reduced training and/or game time are considered during the condition to reduce the duration and intensity of symptoms, and encourage a faster return to pain-free participation.

Can Sever’s Be Permanent?

Sever’s is a condition that only affects the growing skeleton and only occurs in growing children. Severs never occur after puberty as the calcaneal growth plates have finished ossification, usually between the ages of 15-17.

How Do You Treat Sever’s At Home?

Management of Sever’s symptoms can be aided by using ice and non-steroidal anti-inflammatories such as ibuprofen, increasing recovery and rest times, or reducing the loading frequency, duration and/or intensity. Improving the biomechanics of the foot through specific foot stretches and soft tissue release techniques may also be appropriate. Your podiatrist or physiotherapist can guide you towards these management strategies if appropriate.

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