Sever Disease and its Physiotherapy Treatment

Sever Disease and its Physiotherapy Treatment

Understanding Sever Disease and Its Comprehensive Treatment: A Physiotherapist’s Perspective

1. Introduction

Sever Disease, also known as calcaneal apophysitis, is a common condition affecting young athletes and active children. We will explore the causes, clinical features, signs and symptoms, diagnostic methods, and the crucial role of physiotherapy in managing this condition effectively.

2. What is Sever Disease?

Sever Disease is a painful condition that occurs in the growth plate of the heel bone (calcaneus) in children and adolescents. The growth plate is an area of developing tissue at the end of a bone, and during periods of rapid growth, it can become inflamed and painful.

3. Causes of Sever Disease

The exact cause of Sever Disease is not fully understood, but it is believed to be related to repetitive stress on the heel bone during activities that involve running or jumping. Other factors that may contribute to its development include:

  • Tight calf muscles and Achilles tendon
  • Overpronation (excessive inward rolling) of the foot
  • High-impact sports and activities
  • Poorly fitting footwear
  • Rapid growth spurts

4. Clinical Features of Sever Disease

Sever Disease commonly affects active children between the ages of 8 to 14 years, particularly those involved in sports. The condition usually occurs in one foot, but it can also affect both feet simultaneously. Some of the clinical features include:

  • Heel pain and tenderness, particularly at the back, especially during or after physical activities
  • Pain that improves with rest
  • Difficulty in walking or standing for prolonged periods
  • Limping or walking on tiptoes to avoid pressure on the affected heel
  • Swelling and tenderness around the heel area

5. Diagnostic Methods

Diagnosing Sever Disease involves a thorough examination by a qualified healthcare professional, such as a pediatrician, orthopedic doctor, or physiotherapist. The diagnosis may include:

  • Detailed medical history and physical examination
  • X-ray or MRI to rule out other possible conditions

When a child is suspected of having Sever Disease, a physiotherapist plays a crucial role in the evaluation process. The physiotherapist will assess:

  • Range of motion in the ankle and foot
  • Muscle strength and flexibility
  • Gait analysis and biomechanics

6. Medical Treatment Options

Medical treatment for Sever Disease focuses on reducing pain and inflammation. Some common approaches include:

  • Rest and reduced activity to alleviate stress in the affected area
  • Ice application to reduce swelling
  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) for pain relief
  • Heel cups or orthotic devices to provide cushioning and support

7. Physiotherapy Treatment for Sever Disease

Physiotherapy plays a pivotal role in the comprehensive management of Sever Disease, providing essential support and care to young patients experiencing this condition. The primary goal of physiotherapy is to alleviate pain, promote healing, and restore normal function in the affected foot.

Customized Treatment Plans: Every child with Sever Disease is unique, and physiotherapists tailor their treatment plans to suit the individual needs of each patient. A thorough assessment is conducted, taking into account the child’s age, physical abilities, and the severity of the condition.

Gentle Stretching Exercises: One of the fundamental aspects of physiotherapy for Sever Disease involves gentle stretching exercises to improve the flexibility of the calf muscles and the Achilles tendon. These exercises aim to reduce tension in the area around the growth plate, minimizing pain and discomfort.

Strengthening Exercises: Physiotherapists prescribe specific strengthening exercises to support the affected foot and ankle. Strengthening the surrounding muscles can help distribute weight more evenly and reduce stress on the growth plate during physical activities.

Manual Therapy Techniques: Manual therapy, such as soft tissue mobilization and joint mobilization, is employed to alleviate pain, reduce muscle tension, and improve blood circulation in the affected area. These hands-on techniques are gentle and soothing, providing relief to young patients.

Taping or Bracing: To provide additional support and reduce stress on the growth plate, physiotherapists may use taping or bracing techniques. These aids help maintain proper foot alignment and cushion the affected area during movement.

Elite Treatment: In addition to all the above treatments Physiotherapist at Elite Physiotherapy and sports injury centre uses some highly advanced and researched based modalities such as Shock wave therapy, TRF therapy, High-intensity class 4 laser, Manual therapy, Mechanical therapy, etc.

Monitoring Progress: Throughout the treatment process, physiotherapists carefully watch the child’s progress. They assess the response to therapy and make necessary adjustments to the treatment plan.

Home Exercise Programs: To ensure the continuity of care, physiotherapists often design home exercise programs tailored to the child’s condition. These exercises empower the child to actively participate in their recovery journey and promote consistent progress outside the therapy sessions.

8. The Importance of Early Intervention

Early diagnosis and intervention are crucial in managing Sever Disease effectively. Timely physiotherapy treatment can help reduce pain, promote healing, and prevent the condition from worsening.

9. Preventive Measures

Preventing Sever Disease involves adopting certain precautions, especially for active children involved in sports. Some preventive measures include:

  • Proper warm-up and cool-down exercises before and after physical activity
  • Wearing appropriate footwear with proper arch support and cushioning
  • Avoiding excessive running or jumping on hard surfaces
  • Encouraging cross-training and varying physical activities

10. Lifestyle Recommendations

Incorporating healthy lifestyle habits can also contribute to better recovery and overall well-being. Suggestions include:

  • Maintaining a balanced diet with essential nutrients for bone health
  • Adequate rest and sleep to support the body’s healing process
  • Stress management techniques to reduce tension and promote relaxation

11. The Role of Nutrition in Recovery

A well-balanced diet rich in calcium, vitamin D, and other essential nutrients is essential for optimal bone health and recovery from Sever Disease. Including dairy products, leafy greens, and fortified foods can help meet these nutritional needs.


Sever Disease is a painful but manageable condition that primarily affects growing children and adolescents involved in sports. Timely diagnosis, appropriate medical treatment, and comprehensive physiotherapy can significantly improve the child’s quality of life and help them resume their regular activities.

Physiotherapy is an indispensable component of the management of Sever Disease. With its personalized approach, gentle techniques, and focus on empowering young patients, physiotherapy aids in the successful recovery and improved quality of life for children experiencing this condition. Early intervention and consistent physiotherapy care can make a significant difference in the child’s overall well-being and future athletic pursuits.


Is Sever Disease a severe condition?

Sever Disease can cause significant discomfort, but with proper treatment and care, it can be effectively managed.

Can Sever Disease recur after treatment?

In some cases, Sever Disease may recur, especially if preventive measures are not followed.

Is physiotherapy painful for children with Sever Diseases?

Physiotherapy for Sever Disease is tailored to the child’s comfort level and is usually not painful.

Can Sever Disease lead to long-term complications?

When managed promptly and appropriately, Sever Disease does not typically lead to long-term complications.

Can adults develop Sever Diseases?

Sever Disease is specific to growing children and does not affect adults.


Sever’s Disease. Calcaneal Apophysitis, Heel Pain in Children, Growth Plate Injury, Young Athlete Injury, Children’s Foot Pain, Pediatric Heel Pain, Achilles Tendon Pain, Sports Injury in Children, Growing Pains in Heel, Heel Bone Inflammation, Podiatry for Sever’s Disease, Physiotherapy for Sever’s Disease, Treatment Options for Sever’s Disease, Sever’s Disease Prevention, Sever’s Disease Diagnosis, Symptoms of Sever’s Disease, Heel Pain Management, Activity Modification for Sever’s Disease, Sever’s Disease in Young Soccer Players.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *