Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy is a noninvasive alternative to Plantar Fascia Release. This procedure emits shock waves to the heel or plantar fascia to stimulate healing, instead of operating on the heel to remove the plantar fascia from the heel bone.
There are two ways to treat foot pain due to plantar fasciitis using Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy: High-energy and Low-energy. Some may say that high energy is the most effective, but each technology has its own different advantages.
The high-energy shock wave has the advantage of treating plantar fasciitis in one session, but it will require anesthesia. Because the shock wave treatment would be painful, either a regional block or general anesthesia would be administered for the high energy treatment. This treatment can be very expensive because the cost will include the use of the device, anesthesia, and procedural expenses.
Throughout the years, research shows that low-energy shock wave is as effective as high-energy ESWT, at a more affordable rate. Low-energy shock wave therapy can be mildly painful or not at all. Patients typically undergo the treatment with three visits that last around 15 mins each. Patients report slight immediate improvement as they walk out of the office. After the treatment, they are able to return to their normal daily activities.