Shockwave Therapy for Plantar Fasciitis

Shockwave therapy for Plantar Fasciitis has become a conventional therapy since the 1990’s as news and reports of its success have circulated. Plantar Fasciitis is a disorder of the connective tissue which supports the arch of the foot. About 1 in 10 of the adult population will suffer from Plantar Fasciitis in their lifetime.

Signs & Symptoms of Plantar Fasciitis

Your symptoms may be pain in the heel and bottom of one of your feet. It is usually most severe with the first steps of the day or following a period of rest. Some people suffer with pain when flexing the foot and toes upward, toward the shin (dorsiflexion) and this may be uncomfortable or painful. Sometimes patients report a tingling or burning sensation in the affected foot, this may possibly indicate that a nerve is being irritated or squeezed.

What Happens During Shockwave Therapy for Plantar Fasciitis

Please arrive at the clinic wearing casual clothes. During shock wave therapy, high-intensity sound waves are sent to the tissues of the foot. This stimulates numerous beneficial effects such as the ingrowth of new blood vessel, the reversal of chronic inflammation and the stimulation of new tissue growth. Following the treatment, you may initially experience a little pain, redness, bruising, swelling and numbness to the area.

heel pain shockwave treatment.

How We Apply Shockwave Therapy for Plantar Fasciitis

We will isolate the area that needs to be treated and use a gel to transfer the acoustic waves efficiently and smoothly. Rather than the regular gels that some practitioners use, we now advocate and use castor oil as the medium between the shockwave equipment and the patient for many of our shockwave procedures. We have found that the little pain that our patients feel is reduced when we use castor oil. Then using our focussed shockwave equipment we will start sending gentle impulses to the area. Discomfort will be kept to a minimum and gradually the impulses will become more intense, although little pain will be felt and if it is it will gradually dissipate over a few days.

How Long Will the Shockwave Therapy Take to Work?

Generally, shockwave for Plantar Fasciitis will resolve after three to four sessions, depending on your condition and how long you may have suffered with it before seeing us, while early diagnosis can reduce the number of sessions needed.

As part of your treatment it is important that you work with your physical therapist to ensure that you have an exercise regime and massage to ensure full recovery.

We are one of the few shockwave therapy specialist clinics in the UK with the expertise of treating Plantar Fasciitis using the latest Swiss engineered focussed shockwave equipment. We undertake this in conjunction with a course of physiotherapy to aid the outcome of the treatment.

To find out more, or to book a free consultation or an appointment, contact us now – or better still call us right away to discuss your problem:  Tel: 020 3609 0080

References

NICE (the National Institute for Health & Care Excellence) report on Shockwave Therapy for Plantar Fasciitis as follows:

  • In a study of 293 patients, in which 144 had the procedure and 141 had a placebo (dummy) procedure, 67 and 42 patients, respectively, had less pain after 3 months and didn’t need pain medication.
  • In a study of 172 patients, the average reduction in pain score at 3 months was greater in patients who had the procedure (112 patients) than in those who had the placebo treatment (56 patients).
  • In a study of 149 patients, 69% of patients who had the procedure reported an ‘excellent’ result (no heel pain), whereas all patients who had conventional treatment reported some pain, after an average of 64 months.

Read more from NICE by following this link.

In the USA the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have approved the use of shock waves for the treatment of plantar fasciitis since 2000.