Treating Sever’s Disease / Calcaneal Apophysitis

Treating Sever’s Disease / Calcaneal Apophysitis


Sever’s Disease is common pain in the heel experienced by children and occurs when the growth plate of the heel is injured by excessive forces in early adolescence. It is equally common amongst girls and boys, both in their early puberty.

It usually occurs during the growth spurt of adolescence, the approximately 2-year period in early puberty when kids grow most rapidly. This growth spurt can begin anytime between the ages of 8 to 13 for girls and 10 to 15 for boys.

The child may limp while walking or running. When standing on tip toes, the heel pain may increase. This condition may affect either or both heels.

The doctor will be able to diagnose the disease through history and symptoms. For physical examination he may conduct the ‘squeeze test’.

The first thing your physiotherapist will do is aim at reducing the pain and inflammation. This may be done via providing sufficient rest to the foot, applying ice on the affected heel and protecting it from further harm and injury. Kinesio foot taping may help to provide pain relief. Your physiotherapist will guide you and utilise a range of pain relieving techniques including joint mobilisations for stiff ankle or subtalar joints, massage or electrotherapy to assist you during this painful phase.

Next step is to regain the range of motion and improving the foot arch muscle control and gradually move to the rest of your foot and leg.

In order to prevent a recurrence as you return to sport, your physiotherapist will guide you with technique correction and exercises to address these important components of rehabilitation to both prevent a recurrence and improve your sporting performance.

Your physiotherapist will discuss your goals, time frames and training schedules with you to optimise you for a complete return to sport. Also, he will guide you regarding the type of footwear suitable for you so that the pain doesn’t recur. If you are experiencing pain in the heels while walking or running, or your child is suffering the symptoms, physiotherapy will help them in healing from Sever’s Disease.