Plantar Fasciitis Treatment: How Shockwave Therapy Works

Plantar Fasciitis is a painful medical condition that affects thousands of people every year. The primary symptom of this condition is severe pain in the foot, particularly the heel area. Typically, it’s painful when getting out of bed in the morning or getting up after sitting for a long time. For some, the pain goes away after a few minutes of walking, however the pain could also persist for hours to an entire day as well.

There are many plantar fasciitis treatment options available, but one that is becoming increasingly popular is Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy (ESWT).

ESWT Therapy
ESWT is a medical treatment option that uses shock waves to treat various musculoskeletal ailments, such as tennis elbow, tendonitis, and plantar fasciitis. There are two types of ESWT treatment options, including low energy and high energy. Low energy uses a lower level of pressure waves, so the patient feels little to no pain during the treatment session. However, most patients require at least three separate treatment sessions.

High energy treatments, on the other hand, can be quite painful, which is why most doctors offer anesthesia prior to the procedure. The good news is, most patients only require one high energy treatment before they find relief from plantar fasciitis pain. Both low energy and high energy therapy are non-invasive and can be completed in about 20 minutes.

Is ESWT Effective?
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently performed a study to evaluate the effectiveness of ESWT as a plantar fasciitis treatment. The results showed that 92 percent of those surveyed saw notable pain relief from plantar fasciitis after just one treatment. In most cases, the patient can put moderate weight on their feet immediately after surgery. However, most doctors request that patients refrain from intense physical activity for a period of one to two weeks. This gives the ligaments in your foot time to heal properly.

Who Should Consider ESWT?
In many cases, plantar fasciitis will heal on its own if the right exercise program is implemented. Over-the-counter medication can also be used to help minimize the pain until the ligaments in your heel have healed. Due to these facts, most doctors will suggest you try this method first to see if the pain will go away on its own.

If your pain worsens or doesn’t subside after a few weeks or months, you might be an ideal candidate for ESWT plantar fasciitis treatment. Your doctor will evaluate your condition and determine if ESWT is the right treatment option for you. There are very few side effects or risk factors associated with ESWT therapy, so most people have no trouble having this procedure done.

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