How Shockwave Therapy Can Treat Your Heel Pain

Jan 02, 2024
How Shockwave Therapy Can Treat Your Heel Pain
Shockwave therapy is an effective treatment for a number of issues causing heel pain. But why is this treatment effective and why are so many people choosing it over more invasive treatment options? 

Heel pain is often debilitating. It makes it hard to walk and move about. Not to mention standing still, which can feel even worse. If you have a job where these things are essential to your day-to-day work, it can feel like your heel pain is interfering constantly. 

Fortunately, there are a number of treatments that can help relieve your heel pain. But one you should consider as an early and minimally invasive option is shockwave therapy. This treatment is very effective for heel pain as well as other conditions that cause foot discomfort. 

Southwest Foot & Ankle in Scottsdale, Arizona, offers shockwave therapy as an option for treating mild to severe heel pain. Petrina C. Lewis, DPM, FACFAS, and Mark T. Lewis, DPM, FACFAS, know how to use this procedure to get you back on your feet and feeling good.

What shockwave therapy does 

You might know about shockwave therapy as a treatment for breaking up kidney stones. In fact, when the procedure was introduced in the early 1980s, this is what it was mostly used for. However, over time it’s been found effective for managing pain.

Shockwave therapy involves using a small paddle to emit sound waves near your pain site. These sound waves are very high frequency, so they’re able to penetrate your skin and get to the source of your pain. As a result, these sound waves cause microtrauma, to which your body then responds. 

Your body’s natural healing reaction triggers a number of effects that allow for a respite from pain as well as many other benefits. Shockwave therapy is well tolerated by most patients and usually requires 4-5 weekly treatments to take full effect. 

How shockwave therapy can help heel pain 

Several conditions can cause heel pain. One of the most common is plantar fasciitis, an issue that involves inflammation of the main ligament in your foot. When shockwave therapy is implemented, your body triggers blood flow to your foot. This helps to promote healing. Tendonitis and neuromas in your heel can also be treated this way. 

Another possible cause of heel pain is injury. You could have injured your heel playing sports, stepping wrong, through overuse, or by wearing the wrong shoes. Similarly to treating the other conditions mentioned above, shockwave therapy can promote healing for an injury, especially if it has stalled or taking a very long time. 

A 2018 study found patients suffering from tendinopathy saw improvements in function, quality of life, and pain with the help of shockwave therapy. 

A good candidate for heel pain-related shockwave therapy 

Now that you understand how shockwave therapy can treat your heel pain, it’s important to ask if you’re a good candidate for this procedure. First and foremost, it’s often a great option for those who haven’t tried another treatment yet, as it's mildly invasive and has little risk of side effects. 

However, it does sometimes cause soreness, stiffness, numbness, and bruising. Afterward, it can feel like you’ve been through a strenuous workout, so you’ll want to treat your body similarly. This means drinking lots of water and resting up after your appointment. 

This procedure isn’t effective for every patient, so it’s also important to discuss your heel pain with your provider. This will allow them to first determine its probable cause and then to decide if shockwave therapy will likely be effective for your condition. 

Get shockwave therapy today 

Are you tired of dealing with heel pain? Shockwave therapy is an easy, noninvasive procedure for your recovery as well as a great way to see results in just a few weeks. 

Call Southwest Foot & Ankle at 480-900-7399 today to make an appointment or schedule online at your convenience.