Symptoms of Sever's disease include pain, inflammation and swelling of the heel of one or both feet, complications walking normally, and stiffness of the area around the heel, according to Boston Children's Hospital. Pain is most often felt in the back of the foot and generally occurs after strenuous activity.
Sever's disease is most commonly found in young adolescents whose heel bones have not yet fully matured. The Achilles tendon undergoes excessive stress from common activities such as performing sports, wearing shoes with little or no support and cushioning, extensive exercising, and prolonged standing. Adolescents who engage in certain sports that require jumping or running, such as basketball and soccer, have the greatest risk of developing Sever's disease, states Washington University Orthopedics.
Sever's disease is diagnosed by performing an X-ray of the heel and observing how the child walks, the University of Minnesota Masonic Children's Hospital explains. Checking the heel and general foot area for signs of tenderness or swelling may help determine if the child has Sever's disease. Sever's disease is reversible and treatable with the use of anti-inflammatory medications, or NSAIDs, proper stretching of the heel cord, icing the heel frequently up to four times a day, and reducing strenuous activities that stress the Achilles tendon, notes Boston Children's Hospital.