Shockwave therapy for heel pain

shockwave therapy heel pain

Your heel and foot pain have persisted for months. You can’t get out of bed without experiencing pain with each step. You are standing at work and notice an ache in your heels. Rest doesn’t help. Ice and elevation provided minimal relief. Even stretching and physical therapy weren’t enough. Yet, you aren’t ready to consider surgery. Kansas City Foot Specialists has another option — Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy, a technologically advanced, non-invasive treatment for your heel pain.

What is it?

Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy (ESWT) is a non-invasive treatment for plantar fasciitis-related heel pain. It uses sound waves, conducted through the skin, to irritate damaged tissue as a means of stimulating healing. In studies, ESWT has been shown to provide heel pain relief in 70% of those undergoing the treatment. It is an ideal treatment option when conservative treatments have failed, and is an appropriate step before considering surgical intervention.

Who is it for?

Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy is ideal for:
    •    Those over 18 years old
    •    Those who have had plantar fasciitis with heel pain for more than six months
    •    Those who have tried conservative treatment that has failed to relieve the heel pain

How does it work?

Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy uses pulses of high-pressure shock waves conducted through the skin and into the tissues of the foot in order to stimulate tissue repair. The shock waves are administered through a hand-held tool held against the skin with a coupling solution between the skin and the membrane over the tool. The coupling solution enhances the conductivity to maximize the effectiveness of the treatment.

When is it not appropriate?

Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy is not appropriate in several situations, including:
    •    Near bone growth plates until after bone growth is complete
    •    Near any type of malignancy
    •    On skin that has open wounds, is swollen, inflamed, or infected, or has a rash
    •    In patients using anticoagulant medications or with coagulation disorders
    •    In patients with either history of latex allergy or allergy to coupling solutions
    •    Over ischemic tissue in patients with any type of vascular disease

Risks and considerations

No procedure is without risk. Risks related to ESWT include:
    •    Bruising
    •    Mild, localized swelling
    •    Petechiae (small purplish spots caused by bleeding just beneath the skin)
    •    Superficial hematoma (localized swelling with blood collection from broken blood vessels)
    •    Excessive sensitivity or reduction in sensitivity

These are typically mild side effects and will usually go away on their own if you follow your podiatrist’s recovery and home care instructions. If you experience any of these side effects and they don’t seem to be resolving on their own, be sure to consult with your Kansas City Foot Specialists podiatrist for help.

If you are experiencing heel or foot pain, be sure to make an appointment with a podiatrist at Kansas City Foot Specialists to discuss your pain and possible treatment options, including Extracorporeal Shock Wave Treatment. Get in touch today by calling us at 913-338-4440. We look forward to helping you get back on your feet!