Discovery can come unexpectedly.
Last week a member of our Facebook group asked if the work can help someone with Sever’s disease. I had never heard of this condition in 45 years, so after searching the Internet, I found this text from the National Children’s Website:
“Sever’s disease is a painful condition of the heel that occurs in growing children. It happens when the tendon that attaches to the back of the heel (the Achilles tendon) pulls on the growth plate (the apophysis) of the bone of the heel (the calcaneus). The repeated stress on the growth plate causes pain and inflammation at that site. It most commonly occurs in physically active children between the ages of 8 and 14 years of age. This pain is often worsened by physical activity or when Achilles tendons are tight.”
The key word here is “tight.”
Yesterday, a former patient was recovering from a concussion. Her mother said that she awoke screaming a few nights ago with excruciating pain in her legs. The ER doctors at a local children’s hospital diagnosed Sever’s disease and sent her home with an analgesic medicine.
But I noticed that her calf muscles (soleus, plantaris, and gastrocnemius which attach to her heels) were very tight. I referred her to a deep tissue massage therapist who can help release the muscle strain on the tendons.
I have found in my career that, generally, medical doctors do not touch a patient and rarely feel for muscle tightness. In the 1800s, doctors were muscle therapists, realizing the importance of soft tissue function.
Over time, that has been lost in medical care. I believe that physicians need to revisit their anatomy roots and look at the muscles again. Even more importantly, let’s look at the other soft tissue, the fascial web, and see how that plays out in disease.