Can Shockwave Therapy For Heel Pain Be Effective?
Extracorpreal Shock Wave Therapy (ESWT) is one of the latest and most recommended technologies out there for the treatment of chronic plantar fasciitis. It is a non-invasive treatment used in case the patient failed to respond to traditional treatments.
Some traditional treatments are:
- Footwear modification
- Activity modification
ESWT delivers focused high-energy and a low-energy shock waves to the body. Both these forms of shock waves are successful in the treatment of plantar fasciitis.
Low-Energy Shock Wave Treatments
- These are given as a part of a series of 3 or more treatments
- Low-energy shock waves are least painful
High-Energy Shock Wave Treatments
- These are given as a onetime session
- High-energy shock waves are quite painful and at times anesthesia (regional or general) maybe needed
Shock wave therapy induces “microtrauma” to the inflamed muscle tissue which initiates a healing response from the body. This healing response results in blood vessel formation which leads to increased delivery of nutrients to the affected muscles or area. This microtrauma also stimulates repair processes and relieves symptoms of plantar fasciitis. Several investigators prefer shock waves to treat plantar fasciitis since 1996. Numerous studies have confirmed use and effectiveness of shock waves for patients of plantar fasciitis.
According to some reports, use of low-energy ESWT resulted in good outcomes in many patients. These were individuals treated with 3 sessions of ESWT. Studies reveal that in most cases, 3 treatments placed just 1 week apart successfully treated majority of plantar fasciitis patients. One can witness reduction in symptoms after just 1 visit. However, the healing process will continue for up to 6 weeks even after the final treatment is done.