Sever’s Disease and Osgood-Schlatter Disease


Sever’s Disease – Achilles tendon pain

Osgood-Schlatter Disease – knee pain

What are they?

Your Achilles Tendon is the thick tendon at the back of your ankle that connects your calf muscle to your heel bone. All children have a growth plate in their heel that can become inflamed as they grow. This causes abnormal loading through the Achilles tendon and subsequent pain.

Another tendon is called the patella tendon which joins the knee cap (patella) to the shin bone (tibia). An overload of this tendon in children is called Osgood-Schlatter Disease.

How do they get injured?

Sever’s disease is caused by the growth plate becoming inflamed as it grows.

Osgood-Schlatter Disease is caused by overuse of the knee usually in an active, growing child. It is mainly impact sports required running, jumping, hopping, landing that cause the overload on the knee.

What does it feel like?

Both of the conditions feel like achy pain in the area and are often worse at night or first thing in the morning when the inflammation is most prominent. During an inflamed period, often after a period of increased sport or a growth spurt, you may find children naturally wanting to rest on the couch at the end of the day. When the conditions are severe the child will limp due to the pain in their legs.

How are they diagnosed?

Your physiotherapist is likely to diagnose Sever’s Disease or Osgood-Schlatter Disease after discussed symptoms and patterns of painful and pain free periods. Some basic functional tests and feeling the areas will confirm the diagnosis. Further investigations are rarely needed.

What can Back in Action do to help?

The exact causes of overload to the child’s knee or Achilles tendon needs to be determined so your Back In Action Physiotherapist will take the time to fully assess your child from your lower back all the way to your footwear and discuss current and future training plans. Once a comprehensive assessment has been completed they will, together with you, make a rehabilitation plan and discuss necessary modifications for optimal healing of the tendons. We will use mobilisations, massage, stretching and other techniques to encourage decrease of the inflammation and pain at the tendon, tendon sheath and surrounding muscles. We will work with you to lengthen or strengthen the tendon and correct biomechanical faults that may be contributing to the injury to get your child back to health as soon as possible.  We will work with you and your child through a progressive functional rehabilitation plan so your child can confidently return to sport with a reduced chance of recurrence and an appropriate management plan.