Sever’s disease or calcaneal apophysitis, is the most common cause of heel pain in the growing athlete and is due to overuse and repetitive micro trauma of growth plates of the calcaneus in the heel. It occurs in children ages 7 to 15, with the majority of patients presenting between 10 and 12 years of age. It is in relation to Osgood-Schlatter disease which affects the knee rather than the heel/ankle.
Sever’s disease is directly related to overuse of the bone and tendons in the heel. This can come from playing sports or anything that involves lots of heel movements. It can be associated with starting a new sport, or the start of a new season. Too much weight bearing down on the heel can also cause it as can excessive traction since the bones and tendons are still developing. It occurs more commonly in children who pronate, and involves both heels in more than half of patients.
Sever’s disease is self-recovering, meaning that it will go away on its own when it is used less or when the bone is through growing. The condition is not expected to create any long-term disability, and expected to subside in 2–8 weeks.
Provider Note: We get great results treating Sever’s Disease by utilizing FDM, stretching, and rehabilitative exercises in a limited number of visits. There is most always a significant decrease in pain after just one treatment and there should not be a need for time off from activity.