How Long Does the Pain from Sever’s Disease Last?
With proper rest and care, the pain from Sever’s disease usually subsides in about two weeks. But the only “cure” for Sever’s disease is to stop growing. Once your child has been diagnosed, treated, and is pain-free, and they are still growing, there is no guarantee that it will not happen again. As long as their growth plates remain pliable during development, children will be susceptible to Sever’s disease.
How is Sever’s Disease Treated?
If your child suddenly presents with heel pain, the best thing you can do is reduce and limit their activity. Walking and non-weight-bearing activities, like swimming, are acceptable if it is not causing increased pain.
The most effective treatments for Sever’s disease are:
- RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevate)
- Have your child rest their feet as much as possible, which means taking a break from sports and strenuous exercise while the growth plate heals
- Ice their feet every few hours for about 15 minutes
- Use an elastic wrap or compression socks to help reduce pain and swelling
- Elevate their feet above their heart, which helps manage the swelling
- Ibuprofen and acetaminophen will help control the pain (follow the dosing instructions on the package for your child’s age and weight).
- Have your child wear shoes that have ample cushioning and provide plenty of support through the heel.
- Use heel support cups or gel inserts in their shoes to help reduce stress on the heel.
- Wearing a walking boot that restricts foot and ankle movement helps to expedite healing and prevent further injury as they are healing from an episode of Sever’s disease.
- Stretching is helpful when your child is suffering from Sever’s and continued stretching after healing will help prevent it. Focus on stretching the calf muscles to “loosen” the Achilles tendon and strengthen leg muscles.
- Physical therapy can be a tremendous help in overcoming the pain of Sever’s disease. It also has the added benefit of learning how to stretch and strengthen the leg muscles to prevent it from happening again.
When Should My Child See a Doctor for Sever’s Disease?
In most cases, Sever’s disease can be treated with the suggestions mentioned above. However, we strongly encourage you to contact us if the pain is severe or does not go away with rest. Contact us immediately if you observe swelling or redness on or near the heel, or if you know your child has sustained an injury to the area.
If you are concerned that your child’s heel pain associated with Sever’s disease, or the pain is not diminishing after following the suggestions outlined above, contact us as soon as possible. At Michigan Foot & Ankle Specialists, we can assess the symptoms your child is experiencing, and discuss what treatment is best for them to get them back to their normal activities. Schedule an appointment with our Dearborn office by calling (313) 582-6222 or by filling out our online contact form.