Shockwave therapy has emerged as a prime treatment for inflammatory injuries of the foot and ankle. It particularly is useful to treat heel pain caused by plantar fasciitis. Whether you're suffering with a new, acute bout or it has become a more chronic plantar fasciitis, extracorporeal shock wave therapy is effective to treat plantar fasciitis. It has become a popular treatment option for plantar fasciitis in our Houston podiatry practice.
What is Plantar Fasciitis?
Plantar Fasciitis is an inflammation of the plantar fascia ligament. It attaches to the heel bone and extends through the bottom of the foot towards the toes. Every step you take causes tension on the plantar fascia which pulls on the heel. The pain that you feel is because of the inflammation of the ligament where it attaches to your heel. It is a very common condition in people with both flat feet and high arched feet, since they both cause tension on the plantar fascia ligament.
Treatment of Plantar Fasciitis
More often than not, plantar fasciitis responds to conservative treatments. These can include anti-inflammatory medication, corticosteroid injections, custom orthotics, night splints, stretching, and physical therapy. This treatment for plantar fasciitis provides relief from plantar fasciitis pain, but that relief is often temporary. That's because these treatments serve to reduce the inflammation and not treat the problem.
Using Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy to Treat Plantar Fasciitis
Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy is an effective treatment to treat acute and chronic plantar fasciitis. It is a treatment option that has high success rates, as evidence from numerous studies have shown. In my Houston podiatry office, we use radial shock wave therapy. The best thing about shockwave therapy is that it can cure your plantar fasciitis without nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, injections, or surgery. There are no side effects or risk from the treatment. It is completely non-invasive and is not a painful procedure.
Treatment of plantar heel pain using extracorporeal shock wave therapy can be considered to be one of the conservative therapies. During the treatment, thousands of shockwaves is sent through the tissue into the inflamed area. There is no pain with shockwave therapy. If the procedure becomes uncomfortable, I easily reduce the intensity to alleviate the discomfort. Many people feel pain reduction after the treatment.
How Does Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy Work For Chronic Plantar Fasciitis Pain?
Many conservative treatments for recalcitrant plantar fasciitis are not successful. That is because the condition has been present for months, even years, and the body now sees the injury as normal. Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy fixes that by converting a chronic plantar fasciitis into an acute injury. This is done by increasing the blood flow to the injured area with the application of acoustic waves. Once this happens, your body recognizes the injury as acute and sends resources to heal the injury.
That is why Shockwave Therapy is considered to be a form of regenerative medicine. It enhances the body's ability to heal itself. When that happens, you end up with a more complete, stronger, and permanent resolution to the injury.
Is Radial Shock Wave Therapy a Substitute for Foot Surgery?
Even without the use of Shockwave Therapy, very few cases end up treated surgically. The treatment of plantar fasciitis is usually successful with nonoperative treatments. Shockwave therapy is so effective in treating plantar fasciitis that it almost makes surgical treatment obsolete. There's no reason to wait until surgery is recommended. Shockwave therapy works great as a first-line therapy for plantar fasciitis.
Why Choose Shockwave Therapy for Plantar Fasciitis
There are many good reasons why to choose Shockwave Therapy as a treatment of plantar fasciitis. These include:
- Success rates with Shockwave Therapy are predictable and consistent
- In most cases, there is no need for medication, steroid injections, or surgery
- There are very few risk factors with shockwave therapy
- There is a short recovery time to allow you to get back to your activities
- Little activity modification is needed, although I may ask you to cross train for a short time.
What to Expect When You Come In for a Shockwave Treatment
When you come to the office for a radial extracorporeal shock wave treatment, I'll start by performing a comprehensive physical examination to come up with the proper clinical diagnosis of plantar fasciitis. I'll identify the area of maximum discomfort and focus the shockwave treatments on that area.
The second step is to treat the adjacent connective tissues. For instance, if I'm treating plantar fasciitis, I'll focus on the tissue in the arch. Finally, I'll treat all the tissue with a vibration treatment to enhance the tissue recovery.
How to Learn More about Shockwave Therapy
Shockwave Therapy is always available in our Houston podiatry practice. If you're looking for a treatment option where you can continue your daily activities while maintaining your same activity level, then shockwave therapy the right choice for you. Contact us at 713-785-7881 or request an appointment online. We look forward to seeing you.