Shock tactics: shockwave therapy for heel pain
You may be familiar with sound shockwaves, a high pressure movement caused by an explosion, a plane breaking the sound barrier, a volcano suddenly erupting, or an earthquake.
Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy (ESWT) harnesses the power of sound waves to promote healing of injured tissues. Technically speaking, shock waves are single acoustic pressure waves. When used in shock wave therapy, the waves can stimulate damaged tissue and muscles to heal and repair faster.
According to a major review of evidence and studies into shockwaves:
“Extracorporeal shock wave therapy (ESWT) is an effective and safe non-invasive treatment option for tendon and other pathologies of the musculoskeletal system.”
Heel pain and shockwave therapy
At Hunt Footcare, we use one of the most researched forms of ESWT, the Swiss DolorClast Method®, to help treat:
- Plantar fasciitis (heel pain)
- Calcification of tendons
- Achilles tendinopathy
ESWT has also be used to treat shin pain (shin splints), and we’re keeping an eye on emerging research that it may be effective in stimulating healing of stress fractures. Watch this space!
How shock therapy works
DolorClast Radial Shock Wave Therapy helps by:
- Reducing pain experienced in treated areas
- Increasing local blood circulation to the soft tissues
- Promoting the growth of new blood vessels to stimulate healing
The treatment in non-invasive, as the shockwaves simply travel through your skin to target the source of your pain.
The manufacturers of our state of the art sound shockwave unit describe how it works by comparing it to a hot chilli pepper!
“Red chili peppers contain capsaicin. At first this substance overwhelms the so-called C nerve fibers responsible for transmitting pain but then disables them for an extended period of time. Everybody knows the feeling – first, the mouth is on fire, then it feels completely numb. Research has indicated that shock wave therapy works the same way.”
Medication-free treatment for heel pain
First, we’ll give you a full examination to locate and assess whether Swiss DolorClast therapy will help you. We’ll also check some important information including:
- Your medical history
- Your age
- If you are taking (or have taken recently) certain kinds of medication
- If you may be pregnant
Shockwave therapy is non-invasive and can be highly effective, but it is not suitable for everyone.
Swiss DolorClast shockwave treatment
When starting treatment, we’ll apply a gel to the affected area, and use our state of the art Swiss DolorClast unit to deliver shock waves. This unit generates shockwaves via a handheld applicator that we hold against your skin. Our top of the range equipment can deliver up to 5000 impulses in under 3mins 30 secs of treatment time.
The shockwaves start a response in your body similar to how your body would react to inflammation. This speeds up your body’s natural healing process.
The treatment may feel a little uncomfortable at first, but patients report that the period when they are pain-free after treatment last longer each time they come for treatment.
Interested in shockwave treatment for heel pain?
Call us to make an appointment. Our team will discuss and assess your heel or foot pain, and advise if radial shock waves therapy might be of benefit to you.
Contact your local foot care clinic today
Call us to make an appointment at one of our three local foot clinics in Ontario.