Feet in Motion is proud to offer our patients a revolutionary, new, non-surgical treatment for heel pain, including Plantar Fasciitis and Achilles tendonitis. The procedure is known as Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy.
Shockwave therapy is quickly becoming a popular way to address chronic pain conditions that are not responding to other treatment options. In as short as five minutes without the use of painkillers or manual exercise, shockwave therapy can provide pain relief and speed up healing for chronic bone and tissue problems.
What is Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy?
Chronic heel pain is an extremely frustrating and painful condition. If left untreated, it can become disabling. If you are experiencing chronic heel pain and you can’t seem to find anything that will alleviate it, you are the perfect candidate for Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy (ESWT)— a new and effective therapy that has been changing the lives of patients with chronic heel spurs, plantar fasciitis and Achilles tendinitis.
ESWT is a gentle and non-invasive method of alleviating heel pain using a device that delivers pneumatically-generated high-pressure shock waves to the skin, inflamed soft tissue, and bone calcifications via high energy pulses. In effect, the process reinjures the area on a cellular level and breaks up the scarring that penetrated the tendons and ligaments. This controlled tissue reinjuring allows the body to regenerate blood vessels and bone cells. The high-energy pulsations of ultrasonic waves stimulate the body’s natural self-healing process.
The therapy also stimulates bone cells’ activity and can be used to accelerate fracture healing, disintegrate calcium buildup and restore mobility.
What Can Shockwave Therapy Treat?
Some tendon conditions just won’t respond to traditional treatment forms. Having the option of shockwave therapy is the answer many people dealing with chronic pain are looking for. Shockwave therapy is best suited for people who have chronic (i.e., greater than six weeks) tendinopathies (commonly referred to as tendinitis) that do not respond to other treatments.
ESWT is effective for many conditions, including:
- Release of myofascial adhesions
- Improving muscle function
- Speeding up healing
- Reducing pain from stress fractures, overuse, strains, and pains
- Muscle Aches
- Myofascial Dysfunction
- Calcific Tendinopathy
- Plantar Fasciitis
- Heel Spurs
- Achilles Tendinopathy
- Trigger Points
- Repetitive stress injuries
- Soft Tissue Strains
Shockwave therapy is proven to be a safe and effective therapy option. Many patients report improved functionality and quality of life after the treatment, especially those dealing with tendon issues.
Benefits of Shockwave Therapy
There are a number of benefits associated with shockwave therapy, including:
- Reduces pain
- Trigger point release
- Breaks down calcium deposits
- Reduces inflammation
- Non-invasive solution for chronic pain
- No anesthesia required
- Alternative to painkillers
- Limited side effects
- No downtime
What Makes Shockwave Therapy Effective?
Some of the reasons shockwave therapy works include:
- The shockwaves incite a metabolic reaction in the affected tissue; this causes stress fibers to develop and/or change.
- The shockwaves generate aviation bubbles that break down calcific deposits.
- The shockwaves induce an analgesic reaction mechanism.
Am I a Good Candidate for Shockwave Therapy?
Shockwave therapy is typically safe for most people. You should check with your doctor before receiving shockwave therapy, especially if you are pregnant, taking an anti-inflammatory medications like ibuprofen or Advil, blood thinners, have a pacemaker, or any active cancer cells.
Shockwave therapy should not be used if a patient has these conditions:
- Pregnant women
- Anticoagulants (Marcum)
- Diabetes with Polyneuropathy
- Cortisone six weeks or less beforehand
- Acute inflammations
- Presence of unfused growth plates
Shockwave Therapy to Reverse Chronic Inflammation
Chronic inflammation happens when the inflammatory response does not get completely halted. It can damage healthy tissue and cause chronic pain. Mast cells are a key part of the inflammatory process, and acoustic waves may increase their activity. After mast cell activation, chemokines and cytokines are produced. These are two pro-inflammatory compounds that first enhance the inflammatory process and help restore normal healing and the regenerative process.
Shockwave Therapy Stimulates Collagen Production
Producing enough collagen is necessary to repair damaged ligaments and joints. Shockwave therapy accelerates procollagen synthesis and forces the newly created collagen fibers into a structure that makes their newly formed tendon fibers more dense and stiff while also creating a firmer structure. The more collagen you have, the less pain you will feel because collagen helps maintain your cartilage’s integrity, which is the rubber-like tissue that protects the joints.
Shockwave Therapy and New Blood Vessel Formation
Nutrient blood flow is another part that is necessary to start and maintain the repair processes of the damaged tissue structure. Acoustic waves create capillary micro ruptures in the tendon and bone. Growth factors are significantly increased thanks to the micro ruptures, and as a result, blood vessels are remodeled and stimulated to grow, and new ones are created. The new blood vessels improve the blood supply and oxygenation of the treated area to support the tendon and bone’s faster healing.
What to Expect During Shockwave Therapy?
Shockwave therapy is commonly used in conjunction with other treatments.
When you come into your first shockwave therapy appointment at Feet in Motion, our team of experienced chiropodists will listen to you describe your pain, what treatments you’ve tried, and explain our shockwave therapy system. Then, we will use a special device that briefly dispenses the waves directly to the injured tissue areas. When these cells are stimulated, it triggers the body’s natural self-healing mechanism, and the damaged tissue starts to regenerate. Shock therapy is very quick, treatments last about five minutes per treatment. Expect to attend between three to six treatment sessions that are spaced seven to 10 days apart for best results. The injured area will continue to heal up to three months after your last therapy session.
Most patients feel relief after their first session and will have their pain fully healed by the end of treatment.
If you’re experiencing foot pain or have any other concerns, contact Feet in Motion today.