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Calcaneal Apophysitis (Sever’s Disease)

Heel pain is very common in children and adolescents. If you or your child is very active with sports and they are experiencing heel pain, there is a possibility that they have Sever’s disease.

What is calcaneal apophysitis (Sever’s disease)?

Sever’s disease is an overuse bone condition. It involves irritation and inflammation of the growth plate that locates underneath the heel and results in heel pain. This is most common amongst the children population from pre-teen to teen.


What are the risk factors of Sever’s disease?

Highly active children: Increasing load of activity will increase the force that goes through the heel

The type of sport: Research has shown that Sever’s disease occurs most commonly in weight bearing sports that involves a lot of running and jumping. (For example, football, running and netball)

External factors: Inappropriate footwear that has minimal amount of heel support or a low heel.


How can physiotherapy help?

Education about load management: Physiotherapists will discuss with patients and parents about appropriate strategies about reducing training frequency to allow rest. However, we do not recommend the patient to go into a complete rest as it might damage their mental health. Also physiotherapists will inform the coach of the sports team so we can work together for the patient.

Soft tissue release: Reduce tightness around the heel and leg in order to restore function of the heel as well as taking pressure off it.

Exercise prescription: Physiotherapist will prescribe specific exercises to offload the heel. Strengthening and stretching exercises are recommended.

Take home message:

Sever’s disease can be very painful and disturbing to a child’s health and wellbeing. A child not being able to play sports can be detrimental and traumatising. Therefore it is important to get professionals to look after it before it turns into something more serious.

This information can be used to gain a better understanding of carpel tunnel syndrome. To find out more about how we can help, or to book in for a consultation you can contact us via our Limp in Leap out Physiotherapy & Wellness contact us page, or book online here.

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