Extracorpeal Shock Wave Therapy (ESWT)
Shock wave therapy is a noninvasive method that uses sound waves to treat various foot and ankle conditions. High energy acoustic (sound waves) deliver a mechanical force to the body’s tissue.
Shock wave therapy has been shown to have benefits in treating plantar fasciitis and Achilles tendinosis. The technique places a noninvasive probe on the skin. An electrical charge then creates an energy wave that is focused onto the area of injury. It is not completely clear why this approach to healing works for some people, but it is thought that the shock waves cause inflammation, and improves blood flow to encourage the body to repair and heal itself.
Candidates for ESWT are for the patient whose plantar fasciitis or Achilles tendon pain has not resolved with conservative treatments. Conservative measures can include stretching, physical therapy, orthotics or walking boot for immobilization.
Typically, 1-3 sessions may be needed.