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Sports and General Podiatry
 

 

'Shockwave therapy' now available for Heel Pain Treatment

We specialise in treating heel pain and now shockwave therapy is available at Waitakere Foot
Heel Pain & Shockwave Therapy
Heel pain is one of the most common foot complaints and can occur in all ages.
Plantar fasciits/heel pain
Plantar Fasciitis is an inflammation of the fascia running from your heel to the ball or your foot, microscopic tears can occur within the plantar fascia, usually at its attachment on the heel. This often caused by poor biomechanics, overuse, improper shoes, overweight or abnormal foot structure. Other causes of heel pain may be Achilles Tendinopathy, Sever's Disease, Bursitis, Arthritis.
 
Sufferers often experience pain and stiffness on the bottom of your heel. ‘First step’ pain (stone bruise sensation) after getting out of bed or sitting for a period of time, pain after driving, deep aching pain etc.  
 
Treatment may include Orthotics, Heel wedges/cups, Footwear Advice, Strapping, Strengthening and stretching programmes, and Shockwave Therapy
 
Shock Wave Therapy
Extra-corporeal shock wave therapy (ESWT) is a treatment used to treat tendon pathology - as well as other musculoskeletal pain.  Conditions where this type of treatment has been shown to be effective include plantar fascia pain (plantar fasciitis) and Achilles tendinopathy (tendinitis).
What to expect
Your podiatrist will locate the area of pain through palpation. The shock wave impulses are delivered using a hand held device.  It takes about five minutes to deliver a single treatment.  This is generally said to be uncomfortable (rather than painful) and is well tolerated by the vast majority of patients.  This process is repeated a total of three times - with a week between treatments.  Some patients note an immediate improvement in their pain, however the best results occur 12 weeks after the initial treatment.
How does it work?
ESWT initially reduces pain through what is known as 'hyperstimulation anesthesia'. The nerves sending pain signals to the brain are stimulated to such an extent that their activity diminishes, thereby decreasing or eliminating pain.
ESWT  also produce a regenerative or tissue-repairing effect in musculoskeletal tissues.  They appear to stimulate the release of growth factors and an improvement in blood supply leading to repair of tendon and bone.  These are the mechanisms by which a long-term improvment in symptoms occurs.
What conditions does it work for?
ESWT has been used in sports medicine clinics worldwide for a number of years.  It is not a new treatment.  There is scientific evidence to show that:
·         It is an effective treatment for plantar fascia dysfunction (fasciitis) and has been FDA approved for this condition
·         It is superior to eccentric strengthening and more 'traditional' rehabilitation techniques for insertional achilles tendinopathy
 
Is Shockwave Therapy Effective?
It is extremely effective for plantar fasciitis. Over 70% people report an improvement in pain levels after 3 sessions. Soon your heel pain should subside, and you will be able to ease into your favourite activities again without discomfort. It is much less risky and intrusive than cortisone injection and surgery, with no needles, anesthetics, or scars to worry about.
 
If you like to find out more about this treatment, please call or email us to arrange an appointment with one of our podiatrists. 0800 333 233 | info@waitakerefoot.co.nz