Sever’s Disease


Children’s feet are constantly developing, which can lead to growth centre pain (Sever’s Disease) in the heel. This common condition can be very painful. Fortunately, it’s an easy one for our podiatrists to manage.

This condition is the most common cause of heel pain in children aged 9-12 years. Pain is caused by traction of the calf muscle and Achilles tendon on the growth centres of the heels.

The problem is generally self limiting and will resolve of its own accord when the growth centres fuse. Until the bones fuses however, the condition can be very painful and will limit exercise and sporting pursuits.

What causes Sever’s DiseaseSever's Disease X-ray

The Achilles tendon attaches the triceps surae (calf muscles) to the calcaneus (heel bone). As a child grows the calcaneus grow faster than the surrounding soft tissue, which means the Achilles tendon is pulled uncomfortably tight. This increase in tensile load can cause inflammation and irritation of the calcaneal apophysis (growth plate) which is known as Sever’s Disease. The pain is exacerbated by physical activities, especially ones involving running or jumping. Sever’s disease most commonly affects boys aged 12 to 14 years and girls aged 10 to 12 years, which corresponds with the early growth spurts of puberty.

Symptoms may include

  • Unilateral or bilateral heel pain
  • Heel pain during physical exercise, especially activities that require running or jumping
  • Increased pain level after exercise
  • A tender swelling or bulge on the heel that is painful on touch
  • Limping
  • Calf muscle stiffness first thing in the morning

How we treat Sever’s Disease

At Balance Podiatry we are specialists in treating all kinds of kids feet problems and keeping them on their feet at school and on the sporting field.

When your child experiences foot, ankle or leg pain, come and see the professionals!

Balance Podiatry have treated thousands of young people with this Sever’s disease. Each patient is different and there are often subtle biomechanical problems that exacerbate the traction on the growth centres of the heels. When these biomechanical problems are addressed, we often see significant pain reduction and a return to sport within a few days. Balance Podiatry use video gait assessment software to identify these subtle mechanical problems that may be missed during a visual walking assessment.

Childs ShoesVideo Walking Assessment

When your child presents with pain our podiatrists will take a detailed history and perform a physical assessment and video walking analysis to find out what’s causing the pain. They will work with your child  to implement a personalised treatment plan.

Custom Made Orthotics

At Balance Podiatry, our podiatrists recommend custom-made orthotic foot supports to treat Severs Disease. Our orthotics are custom-made specifically to fit your children’s feet and designed to manage specific foot, leg and back problems.

Orthotic Friendly Footwear

Children’s feet are constantly developing, so it’s important that they wear proper fitting and supportive footwear. We stock high quality supportive and orthotic friendly shoes from top brands including Clarks, Bluehaven, Skechers, Saucony and more. Shop in-store or online from