Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy “ECSWT”
“A Non-invasive Procedure for Chronic Heel Pain “
The longer a condition damages your body, the harder it is to remedy the problem and relieve any pain. That is the problem with chronic heel pain—which at times does not respond well to conservative measures.
Advances in medical technology, though, have led to procedures like extracorporeal shockwave therapy that work to eliminate persistent plantar fasciitis otherwise known as heel pain.
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What is Plantar Fasciitis?
Plantar fasciitis is inflammation of a thick band of tissue that connects the heel bone to the toes. It can be a very painful condition that can affect your daily life.
The pain experiences is often sharp stab or deep ache in the center of the heel or along the bottom of the foot. Pain often happens with prolonged walking or standing. A classical symptom is experiencing pains early in the morning, when taking your first few steps out of bed, or after other long periods of sitting/lying down/non-activity. This pain can decrease as you walk more and your foot starts to warm up. Sometimes heel pain tends to be chronic and can be difficult to heal without a combination of conservative treatments and persistence. When conservative treatment options fail, extracorporeal shockwave therapy (ECSWT) is recommended.
What Is ECSWT?
Extracorporeal shockwave therapy (ECSWT) is a noninvasive method of treating stubborn soft tissue pain, particularly chronic plantar fasciitis. It uses targeted, high-frequency energy waves to stimulate healing in soft tissues like the plantar fascia. It is most
effective when the condition it is treating has not been responding to other conservative measures.
The energy waves pass through your skin and the damaged tissue, stimulating your natural healing processes. Your body is tricked into believing the soft tissues need an immediate immune system response. Circulation to the injured area increases, bringing nutrients and growth factors to repair the damage with it. The pulses also over-stimulate your nerves, leading to a prompt reduction in your pain and temporary insensitivity to your condition.
Are There Risks?
ECSWT is a real alternative to traditional surgery for chronic heel pain. Studies have shown the therapy has helped a number of people reduce their stubborn plantar fasciitis, restoring comfort to their lower limbs. Because there are no incisions, you recover more quickly than you do after a traditional procedure. You also avoid the normal risks for infection that come with opening up the body.
The whole procedure is over fairly quickly, with few side effects. Your foot may feel somewhat sore and swollen. Occasionally, you may develop bruises as well. After each treatment, you can return to easy daily activities, though any hard impacts or stressful exercise, like running, should be avoided for a period of time. It may take several sessions to improve your discomfort.
What Should I Expect from the Procedure?
To determine if this therapy will benefit your condition, you will need to have to your lower limbs thoroughly examined. John Hollander, DPM, will evaluate your feet. Our staff will also go over what treatments have already failed to help your pain. Then we will consider ECSWT as an option for your recovery.
When you come in for the procedure, you may be given some mild anesthesia. Your foot will be positioned and prepared for the treatment. The applicator will be touched to the targeted area on your heel. The machine will then deliver the energy pulses. Depending on your needs, the whole procedure may take up to 30 minutes. After that, you will need to wear supportive shoes and be careful on your feet until the pain is completely eliminated.
Extracorporeal shockwave therapy can be a safe, quick alternative to surgery for stubborn heel pain from plantar fasciitis. Since the whole procedure is noninvasive, it is also safer and quicker to restore the foot than most traditional surgeries. You do not have to put up with stubborn inflammation in your heels. Contact John D. Hollander, DPM, in Santa Rosa, CA, for an appointment. You can reach our office by calling (707) 578-1222 or using the website contact form.