What is Sever's Disease?
Sever's disease (calcaneal apophysitis) is the pulling of the Achilles on the growth plate of the heel. Growth plates are soft areas of cartilage at the end of bones where bone growth occurs. 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 of age.
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 footwear lacking adequate shock absorption. Changes in footwear 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.
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.