Shockwave Therapy – How Can Plantar Fasciitis Patients Benefit From it?

Plantar fasciitis is a common condition that affects the heel and the bottom of the foot. It is characterized by pain, stiffness, and inflammation in the plantar fascia, the connective tissue that runs along the bottom of the foot. The pain usually worsens in the morning and improves as the day goes on, but it can be debilitating for some people.

Shockwave therapy is a non-invasive treatment option for plantar fasciitis. It uses sound waves to stimulate the healing process in the affected area. The therapy is based on the principle of extracorporeal shockwave therapy (ESWT), which has been used for many years to treat conditions such as kidney stones and bone fractures.

The therapy is typically administered in several sessions and may be combined with other treatments, such as physical therapy or orthotics. It is considered a safe and effective option for many patients with plantar fasciitis, but it may not be suitable for everyone. Your healthcare provider can determine if ESWT is the right choice for your case.

How does shockwave therapy work?

Shockwave therapy uses a device that generates sound waves directed at the affected area. The sound waves penetrate the skin and underlying tissues, stimulating the healing process. The therapy works by promoting blood flow to the area, which helps to reduce inflammation and promote the growth of new blood vessels.

During each treatment session, a handheld device is used to deliver the shockwaves to the affected area on the bottom of the foot. The patient typically lies on a treatment table during the procedure, which takes about 20-30 minutes. The shockwaves are delivered through the skin and soft tissue to the plantar fascia, where they cause mechanical stimulation of the cells, increasing blood flow and forming new blood vessels.

The therapy is believed to work by activating the body’s natural healing processes, promoting new tissue growth, and reducing inflammation. The sound waves also stimulate the production of growth factors and enzymes that help to repair and regenerate damaged tissue.

It’s important to note that ESWT should be combined with other treatments such as physical therapy, stretching exercises, and orthotics. This will help improve the therapy’s overall outcome and reduce the risk of recurrence.

What are the benefits of shockwave therapy?

Shockwave therapy is an effective treatment option for plantar fasciitis. Studies have shown that it can reduce pain and improve function in people with the condition. The therapy is also thought to help speed up the healing process, reducing the time it takes for the condition to resolve.

  1. Non-invasive: ESWT is a non-invasive treatment option that does not require surgery or injections. It is a relatively painless procedure with minimal side effects.
  2. Quick recovery: ESWT typically requires a series of treatment sessions, but patients can often return to their normal activities immediately after each session.
  3. High success rate: Studies have shown that ESWT can effectively reduce pain and improve function in patients with plantar fasciitis. The success rate is between 70-90%.
  4. Long-lasting results: ESWT has been shown to provide long-lasting results, with a reduced risk of recurrence compared to other treatment options.
  5. Cost-effective: ESWT is considered a cost-effective treatment option, especially when compared to more invasive procedures such as surgery.
  6. Improves blood flow: ESWT improves the blood flow to the affected area, which can help reduce inflammation and promote healing.
  7. Stimulates healing: The therapy is believed to work by activating the body’s natural healing processes, promoting new tissue growth, and reducing inflammation.

It’s important to note that ESWT should be combined with other treatments, such as physical therapy, stretching exercises, and orthotics, to improve the overall outcome of the therapy and reduce the risk of recurrence.

Who is a good candidate for shockwave therapy?

Shockwave therapy is usually recommended for people with plantar fasciitis who have not responded to other treatments, such as rest, ice, and physical therapy. It is also a good option for people who want to avoid surgery or invasive procedures.

The therapy is not recommended for people with certain medical conditions, such as blood clots or active infections. It is also not recommended for pregnant women or people taking certain medications, such as blood thinners.

If you are considering shockwave therapy for plantar fasciitis, you must talk to your doctor to determine if it is the right treatment option. Your doctor can help you understand the benefits and risks of the therapy and help you make an informed decision.

Conclusion

Shockwave therapy for patient recovery is an effective and non-invasive treatment which patients with plantar fasciitis often adopt. It can reduce pain, improve function in people with the condition, and speed up healing. The therapy is relatively safe, with no side effects, and it is a good option for people who want to avoid surgery or invasive procedures. If you are considering shockwave therapy for plantar fasciitis, talk to your doctor to determine if it is the right treatment option.