Sever’s Disease in Teens

When a preteen or teen complains of heel pain, a frequent diagnosis is Sever’s disease, which sounds much worse than it really is. This common growing pain is relatively short-lived and won’t cause any long-term problems. It can, however, be quite painful; we’ll help relieve the discomfort and speed their recovery.

Sever’s Disease Targets Active Children

Some children, particular active kids who participate in sports, experience Sever’s disease as they hit their adolescent growth spurt. It usually happens between the ages of 8-13 for girls and 10-15 for boys. There is also an increased risk of Sever’s disease among kids with flat feet, high arches, short leg syndrome, over-pronation (feet that roll inward when they walk) or who are overweight or obese.

What is Sever’s Disease?

Sever’s disease is a scary name for the inflammation of the heel’s growth plate, which is a part of the developing bone where cartilage morphs into bone as kids grow taller. When a child grows rapidly, sometimes their muscles and tendons just can’t keep up and they become tight and overstretched. This happens frequently with the Achilles tendon, which connects the calf muscles to the heel. Mix in some pressure caused by an active lifestyle, and it’s too much for the heel’s growth plate — it swells, becomes tender and starts to hurt.

Symptoms of Sever’s Disease

  • Heel pain,
  • Tenderness,
  • Redness and
  • Swelling around the heel.
  • It may hurt when they walk, put any pressure on it or after athletic activities.

The muscles and tendons will eventually lengthen and the pressure will be relieved, but while that process occurs, there are some steps we can take to relieve the discomfort.

Sever’s Disease Treatments

Special shoe inserts, such as heel pads or cups, can act as a shock absorber, decrease pressure on the heel bone and slightly elevate the heel to relieve the pain. Elastic wraps and compression stockings can help decrease any swelling and pain. We also show kids some specific stretches that can help stretch the calf muscles and tendons on the back of the leg to reduce stress on the heel. We might also recommend rest, applying ice, elevating the foot, and over-the-counter pain medication.

If you are experiencing foot pain, call our office or make an online appointment


Staff was extremely friendly and professional. They took us back immediately and no waiting for doctor to come in. Dr Settles-Carter was amazing with my little girl. She took her time and explained every detail to my daughter. As we were leaving my little girl said Dr Settles-Carter was the best doctor ever. Coming from a 10yr old.

Bert King

It took some work, and patience, but my feet are much better now. Dr. Freels worked with me to find exercises, and more importantly, the right shoe to wear. So nice not to dread going into work, for the pain of simply walking. Despite what another review here says, they've never tried to sell me any shoes there, have always left the choice up to me.

Robert Griffith

The staff was very courteous. However, the care provided by Dr. Carter and the staff in the back was exceptional! I finally had answers for my health concerns and issues and a course or plan of treatment including the costs of the services they provide. I especially liked the hours of operation...I can see a doctor for the treatment I need without having to use my personal and sick days! Love the flexibility. Lastly, the ambiance esthetics were relaxing and beautiful.

Bonnie Ogle Taylor

The entire staff at Lexington Podiatry was very welcoming and friendly. Jill went out of her way to make sure my daughter was taken care of. We appreciate being seen so quickly (it would have taken weeks to have seen an orthopedist for her foot injury). Now, she is on the road to recovery! Great office, thanks everyone!

Team Wade 24

Had a great experience! Everyone was very nice, it was clean, the doctor took time to listen to me. She showed me my x-rays and explained them to me. I would recommend them to family and friends.

Heather Purvis

Accepted Insurance Providers

There may be providers, plans and coverage not included on this list. We will help you with navigating the options for coverage and costs. We also accept HSA, Flex accounts, Care Credit and prompt pay pricing for treatment at the clinic and surgical procedures. We do not accept Medicaid plans at this time. Visit our New Patient page for more details.