Have you unsuccessfully tried a number of traditional treatments such as manual therapies, orthotics or medications for your heel spurs, tendinitis or plantar fasciitis? Or is your aliment so chronic that surgery has been recommended to you by a health professional?
Before you make any decisions, we recommend you investigate the benefits of Shockwave therapy as an effective and non-invasive alternative to traditional treatments and surgery for your tendon, muscle or joint condition.
What is shockwave therapy and how can it help me?
Shockwave Therapy is delivered externally by a portable handheld device and serves as an alternative to invasive surgeries or traditional rehabilitation. Shockwave therapy is derived from lithography, a proven technique used today to disintegrate kidney stones without the use of invasive surgery.
The Shockwave device delivers pneumatically-generated high pressure shock waves that travel safely through the skin to the effected area. Inflamed soft tissue and bone calcification that receive these high energy pulses will heal stronger without harm to the surrounding tissues.
How does Shockwave therapy work?
The theory behind shockwave therapy is straightforward and easy to understand.
Shockwave therapy induces safe levels micro-trauma to the injured area of the foot through the hand held shockwave device. These micro-traumas then initiate the body’s natural healing response. The healing response causes blood vessel formation and increased delivery of nutrients to the affected area.
Pain is also initially reduced by hyper-stimulation anaesthesia that diminishes nerve pain signals relayed to the brain. The shockwaves help by depleting the amount of pain mediators emanating from nerve endings, resulting in a reduction of pain experienced.
Although the shockwaves may sometimes create some light inflammation in the first instance, overall the body’s natural healing processes decrease any inflammation you may have been experiencing from your injury.
How many treatments will I need?
The number of Shockwave therapy treatments required often varies depending on the severity and chronicity of the injury. Many patients report that they start to feel relief and a decrease in symptoms after the first treatment. The typical treatment protocol usually requires three to five treatments at 72 hour intervals. After the treatment sessions are finished the injured area continues to heal for six to 18 weeks with maximal recovery occurring approximately three months after the treatment sessions end.
A number of clinical studies have shown that shockwave therapy stimulates repair of tendons and bones, while also improving blood supply to the affected area. In particular, there have been several positive studies in the area of shockwave therapy and healing chronic cases of heel pain (see footnotes). We use the market leader in Shockwave machines at Belleve Podiatry - Swiss Dolorcast. Please check out their webpage to understand more about the science behind Shockwave therapy.
If you have been suffering from heel pain or lower limb tendinopathy and have tried traditional treatments without success, please give our Reception a call us today on (03) 9457 2336 or book in online to see one of our experienced Podiatrists and get this issue sorted once and for all.
- Speed C. A systematic review of shockwave therapies in soft tissue conditions: focusing on the evidence. British Journal of Sports Medicine Br J Sports Med. 2013May;48(21):1538–42.
- Yin M-C, Ye J, Yao M, Cui X-J, Xia Y, Shen Q-X, et al. Is Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy Clinical Efficacy for Relief of Chronic, Recalcitrant Plantar Fasciitis? A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Placebo or Active-Treatment Controlled Trials. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. 2014;95(8):1585–93.
- Dizon JNC, Gonzalez-Suarez C, Zamora MTG, Gambito ED. Effectiveness of Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy in Chronic Plantar Fasciitis. American Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation. 2013;92(7):606–20.