Sever’s disease is not essentially a disease, but a repetitious strain injury predominantly in active children 9-14 years old.

Symptoms

Pain at rear of heel (calcaneous bone) during adolescence, usually after a growth spurt and high levels of sprinting types of activities

Anatomy

Sever’s Disease (Calcaneal Apophysitis) is pain at the back of the heel at the growth plate where bone has not yet fully developed and calcified. The Achilles tendon and plantar fascia attach to the growing bone which then undergoes a lot of pulling forces from these structures during weight bearing activities.

Cause

  • Striking the heel on the ground places stress through the growth plate in addition to the pulling forces of the fascia and Achilles
  • If the Achilles tendon is tight due to either insufficient length of the calf muscles or decreased joint movement. it will pull at the attachment at the calcaneus (heel bone)
  • Biomechanical problems of the lower limb
  • Repetitous actions like running, jumping, side stepping sports such as football, hockey, athletics, basketball, tennis etc. It can also occur in children with low activity levels as well.

Treatment

The Heel Clinic’s treatment is to control the position of the heel with a specific prescription Insert to remove the excessive heel motion created whilst running. This is a more advanced and comfortable form of support than standard arch based orthotics which the Clinic stopped using 10 years ago as they were not found to be successful.

Easing off sports together with for a short period is recommended increased flexibility in the calf muscles and an icing programme, the ailment usually settles in a few weeks.