Calcaneal apophysitis, more commonly known as Sever's Disease, is an painful inflammatory condition involving of the growth plate at the back of your heel. It is one of the most common conditions we see in active kids between the ages 8-15.
What is Sever's Disease and how does it feel?
Sever's Disease is a common pediatric condition characterized by inflammation and irritation in the growth plate of the heel bone (calcaneus). It most commonly occurs in children between the ages of 8 and 15, during their growth spurt years. Despite the name, Sever's Disease is not an actual disease but rather an overuse injury that results from repetitive stress on the heel's growth plate.
It may feel different to each individual, but common reported symptoms of Achilles tendinopathy include:
- Pain at the back of the heel during physical activity
- Pain that gets worse after stopping the aggravating activity
- Children may limp from the pain in the heel
- Pain that is worse with jumping or walking on your heels
More importantly, why does it happen?
Sever's Disease is an overuse condition, and is generally caused by doing too much activity/sport. There are a number of additional risk factors that give reason to why some kids get it and others don't, such as:
- Recent growth spurts resulting in an imbalance in muscle tightness
- Tight calves and/or hamstrings
- Activities or sport involving running and jumping
- Having a collapsed arch, changing the biomechanics of the heel during running
- Taking lots of smaller steps when running (improper running technique)
What can we do to help?
Here at The Foot Clinic, we will always provide a clear diagnosis and an overview of the treatment options available for your condition.
To do this, you may need a full biomechanical assessment. This will include the assessments of the range of motion of your lower limb joints, including your hips, knees, ankles and feet. Your Podiatrist will also assess your posture and perform a thorough gait analysis.
Our team of Podiatrists will then tailor a treatment plan based on your individual needs because we understand that everyone is unique! The treatment plan may include:
1. Strengthening and stretching exercises: Individualised strengthening programs may be assigned via our online exercise platform, Physitrack. It is important to stretch and strengthen the muscles in our lower limbs to improve recovery and prevent any future flare-ups.
2. Footwear advice/modifications: Appropriate footwear for the type of activity you are doing can make a large difference. Heel lifts and gel cushions can also provide temporary relief in shoes.