About Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy

Though research studies on shock wave therapy on humans date back to the 1960s clinical use can be pinned to its role in treating urinary stones in 1982 where it first proved itself to the medical world as a quick, noninvasive, and effective method of treating medical conditions in the body. After further use of ESWT, doctors and researchers have concluded its effectiveness in treating conditions that involve fractures and soft tissue conditions.

Extracorporeal shock wave therapy (ESWT) is a noninvasive alternative to treating plantar fasciitis for decades, instead of standard surgical procedures. Surgical procedures to treat heel pain can be expensive, inconvenient, and cause serious complications. ESWT has been reported to be effective and have very few complications. ESWT is also a popular foot pain treatment for patients who do not show signs of improvement after the standard methods of plantar fasciitis treatment.

Ultrasound imaging has shown how extracorporeal shock wave therapy can relieve heel pain caused by plantar fasciitis and aid in the healing process of the injury as well. Extracorporeal shock wave therapy uses sound waves on the area of the injury to stimulate new cell tissue growth to speed up recovery. By the characteristics of the waves, such as high-pressure amplitude and short duration, these waves produce 2 types of phases of the shockwave known as positive and negative, positive using mechanical forces while negative stimulates the second wave of shocks. The shock sent through the injury on the foot causes microtrauma to the area of injury that then stimulates the body to respond by healing the injury, and repair the area while relieving pain caused by plantar fasciitis.

The shock wave can be administered depending on the condition of the injury or preference of the patient. One time treatments that can be completed with high energy shock waves are more painful but can be blocked by anesthesia. Low energy waves are given throughout more than one session and cause minimal pain. ESWT at Foot Pain Therapy will be done in 3 visits with 15 min sessions.

Plantar fasciitis. disorder of the connective tissue which supports the arch of the foot. vector diagram for medical, educational and scientific use

ESWT versus Other Treatment Options

Ways to treat Plantar Fasciitis include rest, ice, and stretching all while taking pain relievers for pain and inflammation over the course of several months. People who suffer from the condition, however, may experience the condition for longer than a couple of months with no signs of improvement. Therapy is also a common method of treatment that involves night splints, physical therapy, and orthotics which redistribute pressure of the foot.

Many who suffer from heel pain, specifically plantar fasciitis, however, might not see results after months of practicing these methods and will turn to surgery. Surgical procedures involve the detachment of the plantar fascia from the heel bone and are known as a last-ditch resort after all else fails. This method also risks serious complications, infection, and is a pricier option for treatment. Other options for foot pain treatment include injections which might weaken the plantar fascia and risk a rupture with multiple injections.

Extracorporeal shock wave therapy uses sound waves to stimulate the healing process commonly used to treat heel pain patients who have not had success with conservative methods of treatment. One of the most unique benefits of this method of treatment is that it is noninvasive, meaning the high expenses, risk, and downtime required with surgery are eliminated.

In addition, treatment takes 15 minutes and gives astounding results as soon as you stand up. ESWT has also been known to have minimal complications reported and has also been proven to have up to a 90% success rate in pain reduction which is higher than other nonsurgical methods of treatment.