INJURY ALERT- Severs Disease

Children with sore heels?

Pain in the back of the foot after activities?

This is what we are hearing from a lot of our young patients at the moment.

Severs disease (calcaneal apophosytis) usually presents with pain at the back of the heel around the achilles (calf muscle) insertion.Children often also experience aching into these muscle and the sole of the foot.

This condition is diagnosed with physical examination (special tests and feeling structures of the foot), and sometimes imaging (ultrasound or MRI of the foot).

Whilst this condition is painful and frustrating (for active little humans) it is a self limiting condition meaning it will usually take 6-12 months to settle down, and is often manageable following the treatment approach below.

Treatment will include

– treating soft tissues to relieve tension
– mobilising structures (joints) of the lower limb especially the foot
– assessing activities and how we can modify them to decrease pain
– looking at footwear especially sporting and school shoes (ONLY THONGS OR SLIDES WITH IN BUILT SUPPORT!!)
– advice around exercise such as warm up well before the sport including stretching appropriate to the sport, ice for pain relief after sport, self massage to the leg and foot muscles, always wear correct footwear.

Often we will include other practitioners such as a podiatrist to assess the need for orthotics, or massage therapists to assist with muscle and soft tissue release or relaxing.

Some rest from some activities can help at times, your practitioner will advise of this. Usually once the right balance of exercise is found this conditions settles and sports can be resumed.

This condition is really common, especially as children move from their summer to winter sports. At this time often the increased exercise and physical demands on their growing body can result in this condition. As you can see, whilst it is frustrating and painful this condition is very manageable with the right advice and treatment.

If you think we can help you or someone you know with their foot pain feel free to contact the clinic on 52532345 or email the clinic

Belinda Kelly

Belinda is an Osteopath and Pilates Instructor. Belinda enjoys treating patients with problems related to injuries or conditions, and has a special interest in women’s health, particularly treating women pre and post natal. Belinda has a love of swimming, pilates and an addiction to stand up paddle boarding! Belinda enjoys being able educate patients through treatment and lifestyle advice, so they can help themselves to maintain and improve their functioning.