How Shockwave Therapy Works to Treat Your Plantar Fasciitis

Sep 01, 2023
How Shockwave Therapy Works to Treat Your Plantar Fasciitis
Plantar fasciitis pain can be excruciating, but the good news is you don’t have to live with it. If you’ve never heard of shockwave therapy, now’s the time to find out if this treatment could help your condition.

Plantar fasciitis is no picnic. In fact, it’s a very uncomfortable, painful condition for which treatment is required. There are a number of procedures that can be helpful for plantar fasciitis, including Botox® or steroid injections, custom orthotics, and physical therapy, but one of the easiest and most effective options is called shockwave therapy

Southwest Foot & Ankle in Scottsdale, Arizona, offers a number of treatments for plantar fasciitis, including shockwave therapy. Petrina C. Lewis, DPM, FACFAS, and Mark T. Lewis, DPM, FACFAS, want to help you recover in the safest way possible and start your healing from this debilitating condition. 

The lowdown on plantar fasciitis 

Plantar fasciitis often occurs as the result of normal wear-and-tear on your plantar fascia, or the tissue that runs along the bottom of your foot. This tissue can be worn down when you have a job that requires a lot of standing, climbing, or walking. When you experience plantar fasciitis, the pain in your heel can be very intense, even more so after you’ve been sitting or lying down.

Some other symptoms may include swelling in your heel area, tightness in your Achilles tendon, and bone spurs in your heels. Most people who have this condition feel the pain more intensely after a night of rest. It can even be hard to put weight on your heel first thing in the morning. 

Both women and men get plantar fasciitis, and the condition commonly occurs in people ages 40-70. Colloquially, plantar fasciitis is known as policeman’s heel, and people with jobs in the same vein that require a lot of standing and walking (nurses, teachers, factory workers) are also likely to develop this condition. 

How shockwave therapy can help plantar fasciitis

Shockwave therapy may sound like a relatively new idea, but it’s been used for decades to help manage painful conditions like plantar fasciitis. This treatment is non-invasive and easy to repeat, two qualities that make it highly effective for treating heel pain. 

When you seek shockwave therapy, you won’t need to check into the hospital or prepare for the procedure. Our providers simply use a handheld device to emit high-frequency sound waves that target the damaged area. The sound waves penetrate your skin and trigger your body’s natural healing response, which stimulates blood flow and the nerve endings in that area. 

Your body’s healing response is triggered through this form of microtrauma while you also experience a kind of pain relief. Finally, new tissue formation is encouraged, which can help manage the worn tissue in this area. 

Shockwave therapy for plantar fasciitis in the long term 

Most people experience short-term exhaustion in the area of the foot where they receive shockwave therapy, kind of like you’ve been working out. This quickly subsides, and your heel pain associated with plantar fasciitis minimizes. 

In many cases, treatment once a week for several weeks makes a huge difference and allows you to experience diminished pain and stiffness in your heel. A 2020 study found that, after a 12-week follow-up, patients who sought shockwave therapy for their plantar fasciitis experienced continued positive results. 

Get shockwave therapy today

It’s possible to manage your plantar fasciitis pain through shockwave therapy. To learn more, call Southwest Foot & Ankle at 480-900-7399 today to make an appointment or schedule online at your convenience. We’re here to help!