Sever’s disease (Calcaneal Apophysitis) is not essentially a disease, but a growth plate problem, exacerbated by repetitious strain, that predominantly causes heel pain in active children aged 7-14 years. These children are often very sporty and may be in the midst of a growth spurt.
Severs Disease Symptoms
Heel pain at rear / lower sides of heel bone (calcaneus) during and after activity, and sometimes on rest days.
Severs Disease Anatomy
Severs Disease causes heel pain around the growth plate where the bone has not yet fully developed and calcified. The Achilles tendon attaches to the growing bone which is then exposed to considerable pulling forces from the tendon during weight bearing activities. Inflammatory change develops within the growth plate as the bone is pulled resulting in posterior or plantar heel pain.
Severs Disease Causes
Striking the heel on the ground places stress through the growth plate in addition to the pulling forces of the Achilles tendon
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 causing heel pain.
Biomechanical problems of the lower limb
Repetitious actions like running, jumping, side stepping sports such as football, athletics, basketball, tennis etc. It can also occur in children with lower activity levels.
Severs Disease Treatment
The Heel Clinic’s treatment is to control the position of the heel with a specific prescription insert which removes the excessive heel motion. This is a more advanced and comfortable form of support than standard arch based orthotics. The inserts will reduce strain on the heel allowing the inflammatory change to settle and hence reduce the heel pain. Reducing sports for a short period is sometimes recommended and increasing flexibility in the calf muscles. This heel pain syndrome usually settles within a few weeks.
If you think your child has Severs disease / Severs Syndrome you can call us at the Heel Clinic or lodge an on-line appointment request.
Severs Disease Treatment Appointments
From this assessment the source and the treatment options can be determined.