An outline rehabilitation program which may be used for young athletes suffereing from Sever's Disease.
Below is an example of a rehabilitation programme. We advise seeking professional advice before commencing a rehabilitation programme.
Stage 1: Reducing heel pain and inflammation
- Rest until the pain has gone. If you continue to train on it when it is inflamed and painful you will make it worse, possibly even cause more permanent damage to the bone.
- Apply cold therapy. This can be in the form of ice. Massage an ice cube or similar over the site of pain. Ice can be applied for 10 to 15 minutes every two hours depending on the severity of the pain.
- Put a 1cm heel raise in the shoes to help take the pressure off the heel. If the Achilles tendon is shortened via the heel raise then it will not be pulling quite so much on the back of the heel. However this is only done for a short period in conjunction with rest. If the Achilles tendon adaptively shortens over time then this may cause other problems.
Stage 2: Stretching the muscles of the lower leg
- This should only be done if the foot is free from pain. This may be a couple of days, it may be longer. Let pain be the guide rather than following strict time limits.
- The athlete should continue to rest from exercise.
- There are two stretches that are important, one with a straight leg and the other with the knee bent. This allows both the Gastrocnemius muscle and Soleus muscles to be stretched.
Stage 3: Gradual return to exercise and strengthening
- The muscles of the lower leg should be strengthened as well as stretched. Again, exercises should only be done pain free.
- Concentrate on stretching until full range of motion has been reached. Then gradually build the strength into the lower leg with strengthening exercises.