Can shock wave therapy help your achy feet?

Plantar fasciitis is no walk in the park, and Achilles tendinitis is equally as painful. If you have been diagnosed with either, you already know how bad they can hurt. The stinging pain and throbbing can be tricky; over the course of the day, things might improve significantly, but it’s far from gone. Patients experiencing these conditions often complain of symptoms that reoccur day after day and can cause a frustrating start to a morning and the activities that they love the most.

Plantar fasciitis is most common among people who constantly work on flat surfaces (think bank tellers, factory workers, trainers, and more) and with athletes who are frequently on their feet playing basketball, tennis, football, and other sports that rely on a flat surface.

Similarly, Achilles tendinosis can occur in individuals who are often active and on the move, placing intense stretching and pressure on a tendon. While this type of injury is not as severe as a complete tear or strain in the tendon, it can be just as debilitating and frustrating to deal with.

The good news is that in both of these situations, you have options for treatment! Rest, ice, compression, and elevation are helpful to start and can be coupled with stretching, physical therapy routines, orthotics, and walking boots. This combination proves successful for many people, but it is not fool-proof, and it does not always manage to do the trick. That’s where more-advanced techniques and specialists (like you’ll find in our New York clinic) come in handy.

In particular, Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy has recently been identified as an effective treatment for individuals battling both plantar fasictus and Achilles tendinitis.

Although it’s name might seem a bit complex, the procedure is pretty straightforward. ESWT is a completely non-invasive method that uses soundwaves to treat sore or overworked areas that are in pain. Using the power of high-energy acoustics (sound waves), body tissue receives a mechanical force that can be quite beneficial for repair. The electrical charge creates an energy wave focused specifically on the area of injury. While the science is still somewhat of a mystery, we believe that the shockwaves cause inflammation and improve blood flow that encourages the body to recoup and heal itself.

Although it may sound like a plot for a futuristic science fiction movie, ESWT is taking place here and now, and it is offering great results for many patients after just a few treatment sessions. So is it right for you? If conservative treatments are not working enough to address your problem spots, it just might be.

Life is too short to live with aches. If you are suffering from plantar fasciitis or Achilles tendinitis, know that science is rapidly advancing, making treatment and healing entirely possible. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us with questions about ESWT or other techniques to get you back on your feet free of pain.

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Dr. Hubbard’s goal as a Foot and Ankle Surgeon is to provide expertise in achieving an accurate diagnosis, implementing exceptional surgical technique whenever indicated, and most importantly, utilizing practical judgment to devise an effective individualized treatment plan that will restore the patient’s foot or ankle health and function, improving their overall quality of life.