Sever's Disease - Understanding and Innovations for Effective Treatment

Introduction - What is Sever's Disease?:

Sever's Disease is a painful condition that commonly affects pre and early teens, with boys being statistically more prone to it. However, girls, especially dancers or jumpers, can also experience its effects. Typically seen in sporty or active individuals, Sever's Disease primarily manifests as heel pain, although it can also affect a single ankle in some cases.

Understanding the Condition:

Sever's Disease is caused by a combination of overuse of the calf muscle and the challenges posed by bone growth during the pre-teen years. As the Achilles tendon or heel cord pulls on the heel to facilitate development, the repetitive stress on the semi-solid bone leads to pain in the affected area. Over time, this pain can spread to the heel cord (Achilles tendon) and calf muscle.

Traditional Approaches and Limitations:

Until about a decade ago, the only available treatment options for Sever's Disease involved rest and medication. However, it can be challenging and often not ideal to ask a child to remain immobile or rely solely on pills for relief.

Introducing Innovative Solutions - ESWT:

For cases where traditional approaches have not yielded satisfactory results or have even worsened the condition, we offer a groundbreaking therapy called Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy (ESWT). This non-invasive treatment utilizes acoustic sound waves directed into the heel area for 1-2 minutes, stimulating bone vibration and increasing bone density.

boy happy after severs disease treatment at wimbledon clinic foot pain department

Promising Results:

girl dancer with servers disease great after treatment result usinbg focused eswt

Typically, three sessions of ESWT using a CE-marked BTL ESWT machine provide significant relief, with most patients experiencing 80-99% pain reduction within four weeks. Remarkably, many children report feeling better even after a single session. Moreover, the pain relief percentage often continues to improve even after completing the treatment sessions, thanks to the "Carry-Over effect."

Enhanced Comfort with Focused Shock Wave Therapy:

To ensure a more comfortable experience for our young clients, we have introduced Focused Shock Wave Therapy, significantly reducing discomfort during the treatment. Unlike the traditional Radial Shock Wave Therapy (SWT) that involves skin stimulation, the focused approach minimizes pain, offering only a mild ache for about a minute, akin to a gentle squeezing sensation in the heel. The discomfort associated with Focused Shock Wave Therapy is often less than that caused by Sever's Disease.

Choosing the Right Type of Shock Wave Therapy:

Radial Shock Wave Therapy (R-SWT) and Focused Shock Wave Therapy (F-SWT) have successfully treated Sever's Disease.

While Radial SWT may be recommended for cases where pain persists for over four months and the child client experiences rest-related depression, our clinic introduced the Focused SWT type in early 2022.

This new approach (F-SWT) has shown excellent results with younger patients, who often heal faster (an average of three weeks). As a result, the standard recommendation of three sessions plus may only sometimes be necessary for children with more ingested Sever's Disease or where Sever's symptoms may co-exist with other issues.

whats the right type of shock wave therapy for severs disease treatment

Sensations during Treatment: Focused Shock Wave Therapy:

During this treatment, there is no skin stimulation involved. Patients may experience only mild discomfort, such as a light ache lasting for about a minute—a sensation that is often less intense than the discomfort caused by Sever's Disease itself.

Radial Shock Wave Therapy: 

This type of SWT treatment involves stimulating the skin, resulting in a flicking sensation with each pulse, whether directly targeting the tissues or not. While discomfort is higher with the radial approach, it is still tolerable for children.

Focused Shock Wave Therapy:

The focused type of Shock Wave Treatment does NOT stimulate the skin, & instead directly targets the tissues. This type is much more comfortable in children and has better outcomes for bone stimulation.

It is important to note that focused and radial modalities utilize lower settings for bone healing stimulation in children due to their heightened skin sensitivity.

By combining our expertise with these advanced treatment options, we aim to provide practical and comfortable solutions for Sever's Disease, allowing children to heal and return to their active lifestyles with minimal pain and inconvenience.

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