What is Shockwave Therapy?
Extracorporeal shockwave therapy (ESWT), is a non surgical, non invasive treatment option for patients suffering from chronic conditions such as Plantar Fasciitis and Achilles Tendinopathy. It is available at all our clinic locations. This treatment option is used by the sporting elite and is now available to the general public. Before using ESWT the underlying cause needs to the assessed. Sometimes other treatments like stretching, orthotics, exercises, night socks, rehab boots etc may be prescribed by your Podiatrist, it is important to take their advice to ensure a successful treatment outcome.
During Shock Wave Therapy treatment a probe is placed on the skin and moved around, the base of the heel / arch of the foot or Achilles Tendon at the back of the heel after a gel is applied to help conduct the shock waves. Shock wave therapy involves the application of high energy Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy waves through the surface of the skin to accelerate the healing process, dramatically reduce pain and promote healing. These sound waves stimulate tissue regeneration, increase blood flow to the affected area and break down scar tissue. The process accelerates healing.
Your podiatrist will locate the painful area by palpation and contact gel will be applied here. The applicator is then held against the skin and shockwaves applied. The session will take approximately 10 minutes to complete and sessions are spaced 1-2 weeks apart.
What does Shockwave Therapy treatments feel like?
As the shockwave therapy machine is used and the probe is moved around the heel there is an awareness of pressure and vibration around the affected area. There may be a slight feeling of discomfort during the treatment, depending on the level of pain the patient is already experiencing in the area. However, since the treatment lasts only about five minutes, most patients are able to tolerate this discomfort. Additionally, the intensity of the treatment can be adjusted throughout the session.
After the treatment is finished there is a feeling of relief and patients will usually walk around the treatment room pain free. The pain relief from Plantar Fasciitis and Achilles Tendonitis lasts for approximately 5 days, after which point the increase in blood flow slows down. The foot is then ready for another treatment.
How many treatments of Shockwave Therapy do I need?
Most patients who are being treated for Plantar Fasciits or Achilles Tendonitis / Tendinosis with shockwave therapy will usually have between 3 and 6 sessions. However, having one treatment only still helps due to the increase in blood flow.
What are the side effects of Shockwave therapy?
There are virtually no side effects reported from patients receiving shockwave therapy for Plantar Fasciitis. Very rarely there will be mild tingling, aching or some throbbing but these symptoms are very modest and short-lived