Shockwave therapy kicks start the healing response.
Known as extracorporeal shockwave therapy, this involves firing mechanical shockwaves into the sole of the foot to jump-start the healing process. The idea of using shockwaves to break up kidney stones has been around for 20 years or so, but only recently have we realised that it can also help heal tendons or ligaments, which is very exciting. While doctors don’t know exactly how it works, we think it creates controlled micro-damage stimulating the healing response which becomes retarded with long term chronic injuries such as heel pain associated with plantar fasciitis. For this reason it is most effective in patients who have had heel pain associated with plantar fasciitis for a long time — over six to 12 months. Here, the inflammation has settled down and the healing has stopped, but the patient still has chronic pain — not just a bit of pain in the morning. Read more