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Sever's Disease

What is Sever's Disease?

Sever's disease, also known as 'calcaneal apophysitis', is the pulling of the Achilles on the growth plate of the heel. (A growth plate is an area of growing tissue at the end of bones, when growth is complete the plates close and are replaced by solid bone). Sever's disease normally affects active growing children between the ages of 8 and 13 years old.

What causes Sever's Disease?

Sever's disease is caused by tight calf muscles that pull on the growth plate of the heel along with a combination of repetitive impact activities and poor foot wear lacking adequate shock absorption . Changes in foot wear or playing surfaces may add to the causes.

Signs and symptoms

Common signs and symptoms include inflammation and discomfort around the heel and Achilles tendon with and without activity; although it is more common to experience point tenderness with impact activities.

Treatment options

General guidelines include increasing the flexibility of the calf muscles with the use of heat, massage and regular stretching. Strengthening exercises, taping techniques, the use of heel lifts and recommended changes in foot wear may be suggested. RICE (rest, ice, compress and elevate) to aid in the management of inflammation and soreness.

Your physical therapist will give you specific guidelines for your child's individual needs.