What’s the difference?

Achilles tendonitis is irritation of the tendon which attaches to the calcaneus bone.

Sever’s disease is an irritation of the back of the calcaneus where the growth plate is located.

Achilles Tendonitis

Severs Disease


  • Described as a thickening of the tendon caused by constant pulling or straining on the tendon.

  • An overuse injury which is common in runners.

  • Pain is usually worse at the beginning of exercise.

  • Calf tightness may be a contributing factor to Achilles tendinopathy.

  • Inappropriate footwear is also a common cause to Achilles tendinopathy by wearing footwear with insufficient heel height.


Most injuries are caused due to players training too hard and/or too quickly, resulting in their body not being able to adapt to the changes. Training should gradually increase in terms of intensity and duration.


  • Irritation of the growth plate and often caused by pulling, straining or repeated trauma to the site.

  • Only occurs in kids / adolescents who have not fully developed an adult heel bone. The Calcaneus bone generally ossifies around 14-16 years of age but this can vary for different individuals.

  • Common in kids who perform in high impact sports/ activities such as basketball, football, skateboarding and tennis.

  • Pain is usually worse at the end or post exercise.

  • It is believed the bones and muscles in the foot / lower leg grow at different speeds which may have a pulling effect on the growth plate.

  • Inappropriate footwear is also a common cause by wearing footwear with insufficient heel height.


  • Treatment usually involves a period of rest to allow the growth plate to settle with RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation). Anti-inflammatories can assist.

  • Cushioning of the growth plate can assist. Similarly to Achilles Tendinopathy, it is believed poor footwear (shoes with insufficient heel height) contributes to this condition.

  • Heel lifts are often prescribed to reduce tension and pulling from the calf muscle.

  • Stretching may also be prescribed to reduce tension on the Achilles which attaches to the growth plate.

If you suffer any problems while walking or running, we welcome you to seek podiatric advice from our team at Highett Podiatry.

 Call 9555 3044 or make an online appointment.