Sever’s Disease

Sever’s Disease

The calf muscles in the back of the lower leg form to create the Achilles Tendon which attached to the Calcaneus (Heel Bone). The calf muscles and Achilles Tendon point the foot away from the body.

In adolescents, what appears to be Plantar Fasciitis or an Achilles Tendinopathy can be Severs Disease. These are different pathologies and need to be treated differently.

It is must more common in boys than girls and the typical age group is 12-15 years old. It results from excessive traction on the Achilles Tendon on the Calcaneus (heel bone). It usually occurs due a combination of high levels of activity and a growth spurt.

Typical Sever’s Disease symptoms include pain on walking, running or sport, local swelling to the heel bone and tenderness to touch. Symptoms usually cease with rest.

A thorough History and Physical Examination by your Chartered Physiotherapist will determine the likelihood of Sever’s Disease. If the examination shows an obvious Sever’s Disease then a series of exercises and advice will be prescribed. Biomechanics of the lower limb will have to be considered as this can contribute to persistent symptoms.

MyPhysio’s thoughts on Sever’s Disease

Often the client and their parents are very concerned about this condition. The good news is that with careful management of activity and a series of exercises this can be eradicated in our experience in a short period of time. In most cases, a 3mm or 5mm heel lift will be put in both shoes to take tension of the painful area. As symptoms improve then the client can be weaned off the heel lifts.

If you write down what your child does on a weekly basis, it can be surprising how much exercise they are doing between GAA, soccer, athletics, PE, rugby etc. Often children are doing 8, 9 or even 10 sessions per week of exercise. For most this is not a problem but with Sever’s Disease activities will need to be modified in the short term and a gradual return to all activities will be resumed.

If you have any queries regarding Sever’s Disease, please ‘Ask the Expert’.