Shockwave Therapy: How it Works for Plantar Fasciitis?
Plantar Fasciitis is a painful foot condition. It is one of the most common causes of heel pain caused by inflammation of the thick band of tissue that supports the arch of the foot. People who are involved in sports or activities that place a lot of stress on their feet, such as runners, are more likely to experience plantar fasciitis. This condition causes a stabbing pain in the bottom of the foot, which occurs most often when first waking up. It affects men more than women.
Dr. Jeffrey McAlister, a fellowship-trained foot and ankle surgeon, is experienced in both the diagnosis and treatment of plantar fasciitis. Continue reading to learn about shockwave therapy, a new treatment option for plantar fasciitis that Dr. McAlister has adopted in his practice.
Shockwave Therapy and Plantar Fasciitis?
Officially called extracorporeal shockwave therapy, or ESWT, the procedure is more commonly known as shockwave therapy. This treatment involves low-intensity sound waves that stimulate your body’s natural healing through a process called neovascularization in the affected area of the body to increase blood flow to the region.
For patients with plantar fasciitis, these soundwaves are applied to the tissue in the bottom of the foot. The overall goal is to alleviate patients’ pain and increase their mobility. Shockwave therapy may be used to treat several foot and ankle conditions; however, it is most commonly used to treat plantar fasciitis. More specifically, it may be used to treat chronic and acute plantar fasciitis. Additionally, it may be used after other treatment options such as cortisone injections, shoe orthotics and stretching exercises have not worked. Shockwave therapy may be used as a stand-alone treatment or in combination with other treatments, such as PRP (Platelet-Rich Plasma Therapy).
The Benefits of Using Shockwave Therapy for Plantar Fasciitis?
In addition to pain relief and better mobility, shockwave therapy provides the following benefits:
- No downtime: Patients can resume their daily activities immediately after treatment
- Non-invasive: No anesthesia or needles required
- Painless: Most patients experience little to no discomfort during treatment
What Should I Expect During a Shockwave Therapy Treatment?
The procedure is very simple. Patients visit our office once a week for a treatment that lasts up to 10 minutes. Typically, three to five treatments over the course of approximately a month or so are needed. During treatment, the shockwave device is lightly applied to the patient’s heel and moved in a circular motion. Following treatment, patients can leave our office without needing a cast, brace or boot. Many patients experience some or significant relief after just one or two treatments.
If you’re suffering from heel pain caused by plantar fasciitis and are interested in learning if shockwave therapy is right for you, please consider Dr. Jeffrey McAlister as your provider. Contact us or schedule an appointment at (602) 955-5700.