Have you ever experienced foot pain and scoured the internet for pain relief options or treatments? You might have stumbled across a treatment called Shockwave Therapy. The name might sound a bit scary or daunting. However, it may be a great, non-invasive option to help rid you of your foot pain. This blog post will explain what Shockwave Therapy is, how it works, and if it can help you.
What is Shockwave Therapy?
Shockwave Therapy is a non-surgical treatment that uses high-intensity pressure waves to accelerate healing in tissues that are typically slow to heal or tend to heal incompletely. Soft tissues, ligaments and tendons are good examples of this.
How does Shockwave Therapy work?
In the clinic, we use the Swiss DolorClast® method of Shockwave Therapy (ESWT). This means that we use an applicator to apply non-invasive, high-energy radial pressure waves to the affected area via a gel medium.
It is clinically proven that pressure waves, when applied to injured tissues, stimulate metabolic reactions such as:
- Reduction of pain felt by nerve fibres
- Increase of blood circulation in surrounding soft tissues by the creation of new blood capillaries
- Beginning of the healing process triggered by stem cells activation
To put it simply: better blood circulation and the formation of new blood vessels result in improved metabolism. This in turn, activates cell generation and helps the healing process.
Who would benefit from Shockwave Therapy?
People experiencing arch or heel pain and those with conditions such as Plantar Fasciitis and Achilles Tendinopathy may benefit from Shockwave Therapy.
Book an appointment with your Chiropodist today to determine if Shockwave Therapy is right for you!
Shockwave therapy cannot be used to treat pre-ruptured tendons, tissues with local tumours or local bacterial and/or viral infections, or areas treated with cortisone. In addition, Shockwave Therapy cannot be used to treat pregnant women, patients with blood-clotting disorders (including local thrombosis), patients using oral anticoagulations, and patients under the age of 18 years (except for Osgood-Schlatter disease and muscular dysfunction in children with spastic movement disorders).
Are there any risks?
When performed correctly, ESWT® with the Swiss DolorClast® has only minimal risks. You may experience minor pain or discomfort during and after treatment. You may experience a reddening of the skin or petechia (tiny purple, red or brown dots on the affected area). Minor swelling and numbness of the skin over the treatment area can occur. Typically, these side effects disappear within 24-36 hours after the treatment.
What should I expect at my Shockwave Therapy appointment?
During your booked appointment, your trained Chiropodist will assess your condition to determine if you are a Shockwave candidate. They will carefully consider if this therapy would make a meaningful impact on your healing. They will answer any questions you may have regarding your condition and recommend a treatment plan. If applicable, your Chiropodist will perform the treatment during this appointment. The actual treatment time takes approximately 5 minutes. Based on best practices, they will schedule three treatments, spaced one week apart. A follow-up appointment is scheduled four weeks after the third appointment to evaluate progress made or confirm pain resolution.
If foot pain impacts your quality of life and your ability to enjoy activities with family and friends, start a conversation with your Chiropodist today. We are here to help!