How does shockwave therapy work (ESWT) on heel and arch pain?
Shock Wave Treatment or ESWT (“E” standing for extracorporeal) stimulates your natural healing process by increasing blood supply and breaking up calcium deposits within tendons and ligaments.
A high-speed sound wave is generated within the shockwave gun. This then penetrates through the skin and into the area of pain. The characteristic migration of this wave is spherical and is often referred to as a ‘drop in a pond’ wave. This wave stimulates the tissues as it migrates in a radial (circular) fashion. As the sound wave ripples through the tissue it stimulates blood vessel production and scatters a blood factor called substance ‘P’. The extra blood allows healing to start at the area of complaint while the scattering of substance ‘P’ causes a relief from your discomfort.
Shockwave therapy releases muscle tension and active trigger points.
By releasing muscle tension and trigger points shockwave therapy also helps to deliver some pain relief, and can even lead to increase in movement.
Previously, before Shock Wave Therapy, the majority of relief from heel pain came from foot pain management (orthotics, resting and icing) meaning people would often have to spend a lot of time icing while reducing activity levels. As you can imagine this approach was not efficient, as it meant putting your life on hold. Athletes and active people, in particular, suffered from delaying their fitness goals, while patients who were overweight often had issues, as their weight was detrimental to their recovery, and often a primary cause of the foot pain to begin with.
ESWT or Shock Wave Therapy works on the causes of on-going pain, primarily the retardation of the healing response that goes hand in hand with chronic pain. Shockwave Therapy gets results that are comparable to surgery without any invasion or down-time.
When the plantar fascia (a long ligament on the bottom of your foot) turns fibrous or stiffens, this is commonly called plantar fasciitis. This is due to a number of reasons, but the most common is the excessive and repetitive pulling on this ligament which causes irritation. Due to the naturally poor blood supply to the plantar fascia, this was difficult to treat quickly. Calcification of the ligament needs to be halted, and the tissues need to be released from their high tension state. Shockwave therapy does this by increasing blood supply to the plantar fascia, and softening hard calcified tissue. Click HERE for link to studies
Shockwave therapy is quick and effective. A minimum 3 weekly consecutive treatments is recommended, and takes about 15 minutes to apply. The sensation during application is uncomfortable, but the pain is greatly reduced immediately after application.
If you have had no success with other forms of treatment fro heel pain shockwave therapy may be the way forward for you. Please contact our clinic on 9518 0722 to make an appointment to have your case reviewed.
Yours in Better Health,