Heel Pain: Sever's disease

Sever's is a condition, mostly found in growing adolescents. Growing bones do most of the growing from what’s called a growth plate. In the area of the heel, the Achilles tendon attaches across and into a growth plate.

Every time the calf contracts, it pulls on the Achilles tendon which in turn pulls on the heel’s growth plate. When this tension is too forceful or repetitive, irritation to the growth plate may occur, resulting in pain and inflammation

What are the symptoms of Sever's disease?

Pain, swelling or redness generally develops gradually in the back of the heel. Pain typically occurs following activities which require strong or repetitive contraction of the calf muscles, such as running, jumping or hopping. As the condition progresses, patients may experience symptoms that increase during activity and affect performance. Pain may also increase when performing a calf stretch or heel raise (i.e. rising up onto tip toes).

How can physiotherapy help?

Stretching of the surrounding muscles and tendons using massage and mobilisation (stretching) techniques can assist in preventing the symptoms progressing. Our physiotherapists may also provide strengthening exercises to help strengthen surrounding muscles. Other treatment procedures may include strapping to reduce the pull on the heel during activity or advise on heat/ice treatment.