Sever’s Disease 101

Oct 16th, 2014 by Jenna Goldberg | 1 Comment So Far

Kid_with_heel_painSever’s disease is a painful foot condition that affects children around middle school age when they are going through a growth spurt. Like the rest of their bodies, kids’ feet are growing, including the bones in their heels. During this growth spurt, kids’ feet are extra sensitive as the heel plate grows. However you won’t be able to diagnose Sever’s disease by looking at the foot (it won’t appear red or swollen) but it does hurt! 

Sever’s disease is like a growth spurt for kids’ heel bones, however, not all growing kids experience Sever’s disease. One kid may be unaffected, the other may need to rest for a sports season. Repeated visits to the physician for Sever’s disease is unnecessary. Like getting your molars, having tonsils removed, or getting muscle cramps, Sever’s disease is very much a fact of life for growing kids. Worst case scenario, your child may suffer from Sever’s disease for two years, but keep in mind this is not a life-long condition.

Sensitivity caused by Sever’s disease causes kids’ feet to be more susceptible for further injury, so it’s important that kids are fitted with footwear that offers cushion and protection. Unsupportive flip-flops and canvas slip-ons won’t cut it! Kids’ feet need shoes that offer excellent arch support and an outsole that will absorb impact so that their feet grow healthy and strong.

A cushioned heel cup inserted into kids’ shoes can help protect the heel bone, and give kids’ feet more cushion on sensitive heels. This also allows you to transfer the heel cup from one pair of shoes to the next. (See the 3/4 Length Arch Support Insole for extra cushioning and support at the arch too.) The shock absorption in the heel cup protects the heel from harmful impact while being active; running, jumping and other high-impact activities. However if your child lets you know that their feet are hurting, it’s best to take the time to rest while they’re experiencing foot pain. Sometimes this means stopping play early and icing their feet, other times it could mean sitting out a season of soccer or other sports activities.

Take these tips to get through the painful foot condition of Sever’s disease during those at-risk adolescent years.

How to know if your child may be at risk

  • Girls between ages: 8 and 13
  • Boys between ages 10 and 15
  • Active kids are at greater risk
  • Going through a growth spurt
  • It’s very likely your child will let you know if their heels are bothering them due to Sever’s disease, ouch!

Symptoms of Sever’s Disease:

  • Heel pain
  • Foot discomfort
  • Foot pain after playing sports, exercising


How to Treat Sever’s Disease

  • It’s necessary to visit a physican to determine whether or not Sever’s disease is the cause of the heel pain.
  • Insert a heel cup into kids’ shoes for extra cushioning, support, and protection.
  • A 3/4 length arch support insole extends the supports up past the arch to reduces foot fatigue, ankle pain, arch pain, and discomfort
  • Fit kids’ feet with proper sized footwear. It’s important to measure kids’ feet, they’re growing quickly! Find a children’s foot measuring device for home here.
  • Sever’s disease is manageable, but it’s painful too! Kids should rest their feet when a heel is hurting.
  • Rest, ice, and elevate kids’ feet up on a pillow to ease pain and discomfort. Repeat daily when experiencing pain.
  • Stretch the hamstring muscle to help release lactic acid and growing pains.

About Author 

Jenna Goldberg attended University of Hawai’i at Manoa and graduated from California State University Long Beach with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and English concentration. When she is not working in the office as's Web Content Writer and Digital Marketing Specialist you can find Jenna surfing or snowboarding. She also contributes to, The Inertia and SALTED Magazine and other surf and snowboard publications. You can find her on Google +.

One Comment on “Sever’s Disease 101”

  1. Agni said:

    That hits the target pefrtcely. Thanks!