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Severs Disease - What Is It & New Solutions

Severs Disease, a pain in the heel presents itself in the pre and early teens. Boys are big suffers statistically, although girls (generally dancers or jumpers) can also be affected. And both demographics tend to be sporty or buddy athletes.

The classic presentation of pain in both heels is commonplace; however, a single ankle can be involved in some.

The condition has roots in overuse of the calf muscle but is complicated by pre-teen bone growth. The Achilles' tendon/ heel cord pulls on the heel, trying to grow. This repetitive yank on a semi-solid bone produces pain in the heel.

This pain eventually ascends to the heel cord (Achilles tendon) and calf muscle.


Until about ten years ago, the only therapy was rest and tablets. However, telling a child not to move and to get them to pop pills is not typically easy or even ideal.

If you are reading this, your child may not be healing fast, or this approach is leading to worsening. For these cases, we offer an acoustic wave therapy called ESWT.

ESWT are sound waves channelled into the heel for 1-2 minutes to vibrate the bone and increase the bone density of the heel.

Typically three sessions using a CE-marked BTL ESWT machine produces significate relief; most suffer and report 80-99% pain relief within four weeks. Many children say they feel better after just a single session.

The pain-free percentage often increases as the body continues to respond after the treatments are over "Carry-Over effect'.

Discomfort During Therapy

Our newer Focused Shock Wave Therapy dramatically reduces the discomfort of this therapy for the child client.

Which Types Of Shock Wave Therapy work

Both shock wave types are successful in the treatment of servers diseases.

The skin stimulation associated with Radial Shock Wave Therapy (SWT) is why many parents opt to wait and rest their children.

As a practice, we used only recommended Radial Shock Wave Treatment of Servers Disease symptoms when pain lasted over four months and the child client was depressed with rest.

However, we are happy to say the Focused SWT type will be introduced into our clinic in early 2022 and is proving to be a big love for child clients. This means we have been providing the therapy to younger patients but not always recommending three sessions as standard (younger kids tend to heal quicker).

What is the Focused sensation of treatment like:

There is no skin stimulation with Focused Shock Wave Therapy, so there is only a mild discomfort of light ache for about a minute (like a squeezing sensation) in the heel. It's often less than the discomfort of serves disease.

What is the Radial sensation of treatment like:

Radial shock wave therapy stimulates the skin first, so each pulse comes with a flicking sensation whether it's hitting the targetted tissues or not.

Because the skin is highly sensitive in children, there is more discomfort with the radial type of shock wave therapy than with the focused type. But while it is uncomfortable it is tolerable for children, and unit settings are much lower for bone healing stimulation with both focused and radial modalities