A former Belvedere resident, Michael T. Jackson founded Napa Medical Research Foundation (NMRF) to support research into orthopedic regenerative healing. Now residing in Florida rather than Belvedere, Michael T. Jackson currently serves as the foundation’s chairman of the board. The NMRF has contributed valuable research to a number of conditions, and one of its recent studies focused on Sever’s disease.
First described by Sever in Boston in 1912, Sever’s disease relates to pain in the heel and Achilles’ tendon, and is a common complaint for children between the ages of seven and 12. It is commonly attributed to apophysitis, or inflammation of the apophysis, which is the insertion site for a tendon.
The study conducted by NMRF found that current treatment methods, such as orthotics, casts, and cast-boots, do not prevent over 50 percent of children from having recurring problems. Instead, after examining the benefits of a 12-week exercise program, the study found that symptoms were resolved completely with exercise in as little as two weeks.
The foundation is now working on developing a different protocol for a randomized control group of 10 patients, with the results to be published upon completion. However, the early signs point to the conclusion that previous methods of treating Sever’s disease are inadequate for patient needs, but possible to be improved upon.