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The Irish Society of Chartered Physiotherapists

Sever’s Disease by David Kelly

What is Sever’s Disease?

Severs disease is a very common condition among children going through growth spurts, practically all of those who play sports can be affected. It is also known as calcaneal apophysitis. When the growth plate at the back on the heel becomes flamed this is classified as severs. Symptoms can include pain
during or after walking, running, and jumping, tenderness to palpate at the heel and Achilles insertion.

Severs is an overuse injury and It is most likely to occur during phases of rapid growth in active adolescents aged between 9-12 years old. Pain occurs when bone growth exceeds the ability of the muscle/tendon to stretch to maintain flexibility


Studies support that severs is self-limiting as the growth plate fuses at 15-16 years . However with correct management and treatment it can usually be brought under control long before this.

There are some external factors that can be managed to help reduce the pain.

  • Length of training session
  • Recovery between sessions
  • Volume of training per week
  • Training surface
  • Foot wear

The internal factor the affects Sever’s Disease is mainly the growth spurts. Physio can help by providing:

  • Individualised stretching program
  • Individualised strengthening and loading program
  • Graded exposure to high intensity runs
  • Heel wedge – reducing the required Achilles length can reduce pain significantly.

Severs disease can take time to recover and settle. There are plenty of options to help eases pain and allow individuals with this condition to continue with their chosen sports and daily activities.

If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, please get it touch with us at Galway Bay Physio on 091 569 706 or visit us at to book an appointment, so we can help you accelerate your recovery process.

David Kelly

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