The alternative to steroid injections and surgery
Shockwave therapy is a non-invasive solution to musculoskeletal pains such as plantar fasciitis, and Achilles heel pain. A Steroid Injections alternative, frequently used in physiotherapy, podiatry, orthopaedics and sports medicine, which at SO Podiatry we believe, gives in offering the best treatment using the most innovative, and pain free treatment for your heel, ankle or foot pain.
Radial Shockwave Therapy is a revolutionary new treatment which uses a series of high frequency shockwaves (acoustic wave therapy) which initiates an inflammation-like condition in the tissue that is being treated. The body responds by increasing the blood circulation and metabolism in the impacted area which in turn accelerates the body's own healing processes. The shockwaves break down injured tissue and calcifications.
Knowing how Stephanie had helped a friend to be able to continue her professional dancing career, I knew I was seeing the right person for my injury. My expectations were more than satisfied in just three weeks and I have been able to walk pain-free after two sessions, the third visit just a check up.
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If you are suffering from any pain or degenerated tissue e.g. tendons of the Knee, Achilles heel pain (tendonitis) or plantar fasciitis. SO Podiatry’s Worcester based clinic can offer shockwave treatment to help you recover.
Shockwave Therapy FAQ's
What are Achilles tendinopathy and plantar fasciitis?
Achilles tendinopathy is a condition that causes pain, swelling, stiffness and weakness to the Achilles tendon, which attaches your calf muscle to your heel bone. It is thought to be caused by repeated small injuries to the tendon that do not heal and build up over time.
Plantar fasciitis is inflammation or pain of the plantar fascia. This is a thick fibrous band of tissue at the bottom of your foot that lies between your toes and your heel. Repeated small injuries to the plantar fascia are believed to be the cause of the inflammation. People experience pain on their heel/s when they stand up.
Shockwave therapy can be used on many parts of the body but at SO Podiatry we mainly focus on Achilles Tendonopathy and Plantar Fasciitis.
What is extracorporeal shockwave therapy (ESWT)?
Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy (ESWT) is a procedure where shock waves are passed through the skin to the injured part of the foot, using a special device. Extracorporeal means outside of the body. The shockwaves are mechanical and not electric; they are audible, low energy sound waves, which work by increasing blood flow to the injured area. This accelerates the body’s healing process. You will usually require a course of three treatments, one week apart.
Why should I have ESWT?
ESWT is offered to patients with Achilles tendinopathy and plantar fasciitis, who have not responded adequately to conservative treatments, such as physiotherapy, rest, ice therapy and painkillers. It is a minimally invasive treatment that is carried in the clinic which allows you to can go home the same day. As part of a treatment plan, ESWT can offer relief from pain and other symptoms.
What are the risks/side effects?
You will experience some mild pain or discomfort during the treatment, but you should be able to tolerate this. Following the treatment, you may experience redness, bruising, swelling and numbness to the area. These side effects should resolve within a week, before your next treatment. Every patient will be monitored before and after the treatments to discover how successful the outcome is. Studies have shown there is a 50% to 70% chance that it will be effective.
You must not have ESWT if you:
are taking antiplatelets (for example, aspirin or clopidigrel) or anticoagulants (such as warfarin or rivaroxaban)
have a blood clotting disorder
are under the age of 18
have been diagnosed with bone cancer
have a cardiac pacemaker or other cardiac device
have an infection in your foot or a history of tendon or ligament rupture
have had any steroid injections in the previous 12 weeks
These will be discussed with you by your healthcare professional when the treatment is offered. SO Podiatry will discuss the benefits and risks of the procedure with you in more detail – please let us know if you have any questions or would like any further information.
How can I prepare for ESWT?
You will need to ensure that you are available for the full course of your treatment. You should refrain from taking non steroidal anti-inflammatory medication (for example ibuprofen, aspirin) for two weeks before your first procedure and throughout your treatment. You can eat and drink normally before your treatment. Please wear comfortable clothes as you will be lying on your front for the treatment.
What happens during ESWT?
You will be asked to lie on your front with your legs supported by a pillow. The podiatrist carrying out the treatment will put some ultrasound gel on the injured area and then place the hand piece of the device over the surface of the skin and the gel. The ESWT is delivered using this hand piece – it delivers compressed air impulses through the ultrasound gel. Each treatment will take approximately 15 minutes.
Will I feel any pain during ESWT?
Most patients do experience some pain or discomfort during the procedure. You will be asked how much pain you are experiencing during the treatment and we will attempt to adjust the treatment to help manage this. The pain will stop at the end of your procedure.
What happens after ESWT?
After the treatment you will be able to get up and walk straight away. If you do experience discomfort following the shockwave treatment you can take over the counter painkillers (such as paracetamol) but you should avoid anti-inflammatory medication (such as aspirin and ibuprofen) and ice therapy, as these can interfere with the body’s healing process. As part of the treatment plan we may also recommend specific exercises and/or orthotics to help with shock absorption or any underlying biomechanical complaint.
What do I need to do after I go home?
You will be able to return to your usual activities straight away and can return to work immediately. However we advise you not to undertake any strenuous, pain-provoking activity or high impact exercise for 48 hours following the procedure. If you experience a sudden onset of pain to the area or any loss of function, please contact your GP or go to your nearest A&E department.
What are the costs for this procedure?
Please see our pricing page for costs. Please note all shockwave treatment patients need to attend for a biomechanical assessment to establish this course of treatment will suit your needs. Get in touch for further details