Treating Plantar Fasciitis With Shockwave

Introducing: Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis is one of the most stubborn causes of heel pain – and one that some people struggle with for years before finding an effective solution. The reason for its long-standing nature is fairly simple: the plantar fascia is situated the bottom of the foot, and its role is to help support the arch and foot. This means it is placed under strain and pressure with every step we take – so if we want it to heal, we must do so effectively to get the job done right! 

Introducing: Shockwave Treatment

Shockwave, also known as Electrocorporeal Shockwave Therapy (ESWT), works by accelerating both tissue and bone healing in the treated area, meaning that you recover faster than traditional therapies alone. 

How Shockwave Helps Plantar Fasciitis

Shockwave works to stimulate the repair of the plantar fascia where it has been damaged at the bottom of the heel, while helping to block some pain signals immediately following the treatment. This is all done without medication or pain-killers, is completely non-invasive and with very few adverse effects. Here’s a breakdown of how:

  • Reducing pain – by creating an anaesthetic effect on the nerve fibres around the heel and at the insertion of the plantar fascia, shockwave helps block pain signals being transmitted (and felt) – providing you with an anaesthetic effect
  • Stimulating revascularisation – from the effects of the acoustic waves moving through the tissues and bones to which the shockwave is applied, the development of new blood vessels in the area is promoted. More blood vessels mean greater blood flow, faster healing, and recovery for tissues and bones alike!
  • Stimulating metabolic activity – shockwave also works on a cellular level to promote the release of substances that inhibit certain substances that otherwise promote inflammation (and pain), thereby promoting long-standing healing and repair.

What Will Your Appointment Look Like?

If you’ve never been in to see us before, your first appointment will be used to not only commence your shockwave treatment but also to confirm that you have plantar fasciitis, and not something that has similar symptoms to plantar fasciitis. This helps us to ensure that shockwave is the best solution for you – we’d never want you to invest time and money into a treatment when you’ve previously been given the wrong diagnosis! After discussing your complete management plan (of which shockwave is one part) and confirming your eligibility for shockwave, the fun begins! 

  1. We start by feeling around your heel and identifying the best areas to apply the shockwave.
  2. 2. We apply some ultrasound gel to your heel and select the best shockwave frequency settings for the severity of your symptoms. Don’t worry – we have full control over the machine and its settings – including the intensity of the waves that will be moving through your tissues. If you are feeling particularly tender or it’s your first appointment, we can start the first round at a gentler setting so you can become familiar with what to expect from the treatment.
  3. We hit the START button, which starts moving compressed air through the handpiece. This moves a bullet-like piece within the shockwave handle at a rapid rate, causing acoustic waves to radiate out of the handpiece, through the gel and into the targeted area.
  4. One round of shockwave lasts for approximately 1.5 to 3 minutes, depending on the recommended number of ‘pulses’ specific to your injury and treatment area. We completed 2-3 rounds per foot.
  5. After the completion of the session, we finish any complementary therapies as per your management plan – for example, strapping the foot.
  6. You’re good to go! You continue to follow the management plan until your return in one week for your next shockwave round.

Depending on the severity of your problem, you may require as few as 4 rounds, or as many as 10 rounds of shockwave. We expect to see a reduction in your pain in symptoms every week. If we don’t see these results and you’ve fully complied with the rest of your specific management plan, we won’t continue with the treatment and will re-assess the best way forward clinically for your recovery.

Getting Started

Getting started with shockwave starts with booking in an appointment with one of our talented Podiatrists here at The Podiatrist! We’ll guide you through the rest. You can book online by clicking here or give us a call on 07 4638 3022.

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