WAG Question about Severs

Parents... Coaches... Judges... Gymnasts...
DON'T LURK... Join The Discussion!

Members See FEWER Ads!
Join for FREE!
Not open for further replies.


Proud Parent
May 8, 2014
So DD who recently turned 8 was just diagnosed with severs. Doc said it's from over use and growing. After a week of complaining of heel pain (while we were on vacation!) we took her to a sports medicine doctor as soon as we got back and he said it's Severs. She's in a boot for 2 weeks and then a follow up. He said had we waited she would have been in a cast for a month so I'm glad we went right in. She will miss a meet and is bummed but I actually think she sort of sees her boot as a badge of honor in the gym! Lol. So many kids have had them I think she feels like she's joined the club. Anyhow my question is for those that have gone through this does it tend to go away and come back? I've seen post about cheetah cups and heel cups. What exactly do they do and should I look into some for when she's out of the boot. The doctor (who is our neighbor and a friend) was pretty through in his explanation so I think I have a handle on the actual problem. I'm just curious about the best way to deal with it long term in the gym. She goes about 14 hours a week now and will likely increase to around 20 over the summer so I want to do my best to help her prevent it from happening
My DD (11) has severs, but she didn't need a boot or a cast or anything. Her dr said it wasn't very serious and would be self resolving. She wears a cheetah cup but that's it. Now I am wondering if it hasn't been taken seriously enough?
I was out of town and could not make the appt but from what DD and my husband seemed to say the doctor gave them an option. He said she could wear the boot and stay off it for 2 weeks and It would likely be fine and she could hopefully compete in states or he could leave it out if the boot and it would take longer to heal and she would be off it longer. I'm not sure of the severity of it but he seemed to indicate it was bad enough that had she kept pounding on it she could have damaged it enough to need a cast. She's only been really complaining of bad pain for a week or so but I do recall her in the past few weeks mentioning on an off very casually her heel hurt. I'm now wondering if it had actually been going on undiagnosed for awhile and that's why she ended up in the boot.
My DD also has severs. No boot or cast. She wears heel cups in her tennis shoes and wore cheetah cups when tumbling (she didn't like them). She also wore her tennis shoes at the gym for floor and vault when they were bothering her the most. The ortho gave her exercises to do, we iced a lot, and she wore tennis shoes with cups all day (except bath and bed). It passed within about a month or so. They will sometime have knee and shin pain that is associated with these growth spurts. Hopefully it is uneventful and passes quickly.
Os -rep bballer, not a gymie -was bothered terribly by severs.

He was still allowed to train/play as much as he wanted- no boot/ cast just ice/ anti inflammatories as needed; we found running strips of strapping tape lengthwise along his sole helpful as was shoe inserts.

This will sound silly but rolling a can of food under each foot twice daily gave him a lot of relief.

Best of luck!
Two weeks is not long at all. My experience is that my DDs severs went long enough she cracked the growth plate in her heel and spent 8 weeks in a boot during her summer. During those 8 weeks she grew significantly and lost skills she is still trying to get a handle on now.

Anyway, in addition to the boot, she had physical therapy. The therapists messaged out the scar tissue around the injured area in the heel and helped her with the mechanics of her run to help to prevent a relapse. The injury has not returned despite continued growth and training.

With every injury or strain I always insist her doctor prescribe PT. My experience is the therapists can help prevent a return of the injury.
DD also has it, and it flares up every time she grows, and switches heels. She is 10, but was also 8 when the first pain started. No boot, but had a rough time this last Nov./Dec., took some time off over Christmas break and it is so much better. She always wears her Cheetah cup, almost always wears gym shoes outside of the gym (Doctor said all of those cute winter boots are terrible for her heel as there is no support). Ice and 1 ibuprofen helps when it is bad, and when it's bad, her coach does something to her foot during warm ups that really helps too.

I hope your DD feels better soon. The good news is, this is usually managable. I am actually surprised at how many kids I have heard of having this!
boots very uncommon with severs unless there is concern it is MORE than severs. Severs happens in all sorts of kids - not just gym, and is a growth related issue. Hurts less with time off - that all ya get....so the standard of care with simple Severs is pain control (ie ice, rest, proper footwear and time off an activity if it hurts too much to do said activity), and it gets better as they grow.
  • Like
Reactions: auswi
I am also wondering if the dr has other concerns (or maybe it's because of her young age)? DD was diagnosed with Severs a little over a year ago at age 10. We did the same thing (icing, cheetah cup when tumbling, pain reliever when needed) and restricted tumbling when it was at its worst. She was not required to wear a boot at all. I can always tell when she is having a growth spurt because I will see her wearing her cheetah cup at practice. So I know it comes and goes.
They use boots when they want the kids to stay off the foot. My DD is the apparently the queen of growth related inflammation and her doctors have repeatedly said that if the inflammation doesn't go down, they'll boot her to force her to rest the affected body part. That message got through!
Yes I think the boot was more of a precautionary measure. DD said the doctor gave my husband the option of no boot but possibly longer time to heal or a boot and hopefully only 2 weeks. I think the boot is forcing her to stay off it and rest it and not be tempted to do any gymnastics. The inflammation was pretty severe I guess as well so I think the doctor felt that the boot would better ensure she had time to heal without doing anything on it. She was saying that her pain was pretty severe so he probably figured this was the best way to go to immobilize it.
My dd has had bouts of severs and this last time we had a PT do a treatment called ASTYM. 5 treatments in a 2 week time frane and she was all better.
My best advice is to try to treat the cause (tight calf and achilles tendon) not just the symptoms (heel pain). Cheetah cups provide a cushion for the heel but do nothing to treat the cause. X braces provide relief for some or you can tape the foot to try to relieve the pressure. Icing and stretching the lower calf, achilles and bottom of the foot made a huge difference. Also sleeping in a sleeve type boot that keeps the foot flexed. Spend 5 minutes before bed standing on the edge of a stair stretching the calf.
  • Like
Reactions: SignHere
My dd is going though it now. Her PT Has her do
specific calf and Achilles stretches in between rotations at the gym. She also does minimal heel walking (10-15 seconds at a time only 2-3 times a day) . Her PT does not like taping regularly, or icing for this daily because it just numbs and masks the pain. She needs to gauge the pain to keep her tumbling numbers within an acceptable level.

He also recommends heat to bring blood flow and healing to the area. This is in the evening before bed. A hot shower or bath is enough, not necessarily a heat pad.
You need to get Oscon. It is a supplement for osgood-schlatter, which is just severs in the knee.

My daughter (11 year old level 9) has severs and this supplement clears it right up. You can google for it.
  • Like
Reactions: SignHere
We tried it and DD broke out in hives. We did start some of the vitamin ingredients daily, and it has helped her through Severs and Osgood. I'm not really into the extra vitamins as a cure, but it has really helped.
MY dd had severs pretty bad. The first time, we didn't know, just a good guess, and it went away after one month. Second time, had to go to Dr. During that time, dmil was going for pt. PT told me to let dd do foot massage with tennis ball. Plus, we excercised what pt suggested and on the tramp, plus all the other extra stuff(ice, massages, cheetah cups, heel cups in the shoes) Second time was about one and half months.
Ditto what others have said. First bout at 9 years old, lasted 3-4 months. She used a Cheetah heel cup, ice and occasional ibuprofen. The cheetah gave her enough relief that she didn't miss practice, but did reduce the tumbling and vaulting reps. It returned recently, and the Cheetah is not helping enough. Her new coach asked us to get gel heel cups (usually go in your shoes). He uses athletic tape and tapes them to her foot for practice. She said it worked better than the Cheetah. We also ordered the X-brace for additional assistance in and out of the gym. Also, limited reps on floor and vault, more time on tumble trak, extra stretching for calves. She hasn't missed any practice (20 hours/week), but her very knowledgeable and experienced coaches understand the issue and work around it. She overdid it one day, and was not allowed to tumble at all the following. :) It's not fun to deal with, but won't slow them down a lot most of the time.
Not open for further replies.