Severs Disease – Who does it affect and why?

Also known as Calcaneal apophysitis, Sever’s disease is one of the most common causes of heel pain in growing athletes.  Boys are more susceptible than girls, and it is commonly found in the 8-12 year age group.  Onset is usually prior to or during a growth spurt, and often coincides with starting a new season or changing sports. This condition can recur often during your child’s growing years and can have a significant impact on their ability to participate in sport and activities. 

As a parent, it can be difficult to determine if you child is experiencing pain/dysfunction.  You child might complain of a sore foot, on one or both sides and you might notice you child is limping, or running differently.  If you ask them to raise their toe off the ground, it often increases the pain. 

This condition can be easily diagnosed by a Physiotherapist, with a thorough history taking and symptoms.  In the clinic, your physiotherapist will perform some tests to confirm this diagnosis as well as identify any underlying factors that might be contributing to the onset of Sever’s.    There are a variety of treatment tools we can use to manage your child’s injury including:

  • Education around load management – to reduce pain and allow recovery
  • Ice, heat and/or Ultrasound to manage inflammation and severe pain
  • Addressing underlying risk factors such as strength, flexibility, muscle imbalances
  • Taping
  • Orthotics or heel cushioning if required

If you have a child between the age of 8 – 12 who is experiencing heel pain and you suspect Sever’s Disease, contact our reception on 3366 0500 to make an appointment with one of our highly experienced Physiotherapists.  A quick diagnosis and subsequent management of this condition, will have your child on their way back to their favourite sporting activities in no time.  

Karen Jamieson
Physiotherapist  - Revive Ashgrove