Sever’s disease, or more appropriately called calcaneal apophysitis is a common problem with the growth plate at the back of the heel bone in kids. The growth plate combines with the rest of the heel bone at around the early to mid-teenage years, so it is no longer a problem after that time. The pain is typically at the back of the heel bone or if you squeeze the sides. The cause of the problem is typically too much load on the growing area, especially in a short period of time if there has not been time for the kids body to adapt to those higher loads.
Biomechanically the problem with Sever’s disease is the growth plate is the part of the heel bone that contacts the ground when heel striking and running, so that can add to the loads on the bone. Also the Achilles tendon attaches to the heel bone, so the pull from the calf muscles while running can also increase the load on the growth plate.
Typical the management of Sever’s disease is to reduce the loads by cutting back on the levels of activity. ICE can be used after activity if the pain is bad enough. A cushioned heel raise is often used to give some protection to the growth plate.
What Running Shoes can help Sever’s disease?
Looking at the nature of the biomechanics associated with Sever’s disease, then any running shoe that has a high drop (like the Brooks Adrenaline) is going to be helpful. Also running shoes with good cushioning are going to also help (like the Asic’s gel models). So look for shoes with a higher drop (heel raise) and good cushioning.