Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy

Updated 8/23/2023
On NBC's "The Doctor's" our Dr. B. discussing and performing a Shockwave Therapy treatment for plantar fasciitis before a live studio audience.
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What is Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy?

We mainly use Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy (ESWT)

for plantar fascitis/fasciosis and for Achilles tendonitis/tendinosis conditions.

ESWT is often used when your injury is in a chronic state. This is when conservative treatments like stretching, physical therapy, and orthotics fail to provide adequate pain relief.

 

Shockwave therapy produces various levels of controlled trauma that causes the area to inflame and prompt natural healing to begin.

 

We are one of the few providers in the US that offers high-intensity and low-intensity extracorporeal shockwave therapy (also known as orthotripsy).

 

Shockwave Therapy for Plantar Fasciitis

What to Expect During Shockwave Treatment

Using a specially-designed handpiece, ESWT works by focusing shockwaves directly at the painful part of your foot. The shockwaves produce micro-traumas to the tissue that’s causing your plantar fasciitis. 

 

Your body reacts to these micro-traumas by signaling for an increased blood supply to the painful area, as well as breaking down injured tissue and calcifications. In turn, blood vessel formation is increased and nutrients flood the area. Your body then heals itself.

 

This in-office, 15-minute procedure, is typically performed with almost no pain and no anesthesia. Normally, patients receive three shockwave treatments over as many weeks. Low-intensity ESWT always takes place in the office and requires no anesthesia. Since it is less intense than high intensity, it allows for a more comfortable lifestyle while healing.

 

In some cases, high-intensity shockwave therapy may be the best treatment option. Since this can cause more discomfort during the procedure, it may require monitored anesthesia. The good news is it usually requires just one treatment.

 

 

Post-Shockwave Recovery

Patients will typically feel mild improvement after the visit, significant improvement after the second treatment, and often are able to return to work and activities of daily life after the third treatment. 

 

Occasionally, patients notice a dull pain in the area of the procedure, but that rarely lasts more than 24 hours. Your doctor will explain how to deal with any discomfort, which can usually be controlled with over-the-counter pain medication.

 

However, even if you are pain-free directly after your procedure, we recommend refraining from any activity that may be stressful to your foot for at least two days. It typically takes several months to reap all the pain-reduction benefits of shockwave therapy.

 

 

University Foot and Ankle Institute: Pioneering shockwave therapy for plantar fasciitis

Our team is specially trained in shockwave therapy as a treatment to reduce heel pain.

 

Our patients rely on our decades of experience in developing, researching, and using the latest technologies to help bring pain-free activity back to their lives. Whether you want to compete in sports again or play with your kids, you can trust our physicians to know if advanced therapies such as shockwave therapy would likely be effective.

 

If you’re suffering from foot pain and have not received adequate relief or care, or need an independent second opinion, please contact us today to set up an appointment for a consultation.

 

We are proud to now offer state-of-the-art Zimmer shockwave therapy at our Valencia clinic.

 

 

Frequently Asked Questions about Shockwave Therapy

 

Q. What are the success rates of shockwave therapy for the treatment of plantar fasciitis? How many sessions does it usually take?

A: Shockwave therapy for plantar fasciitis usually takes 3-4 sessions and we see a 70% success rate. Our physicians can also discuss other options once they get a sense of your exact condition. 

 

Have a Shockwave Therapy question we should add to our FAQ's? Please let us know by clicking here.

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