22 Dec 2020 / Foot Pain

Heel Pain (Plantar Fasciitis) and Shockwave Therapy

As  sports medicine practitioners, we deal with muscle and bone injuries on a daily basis.

By adding technology to the mix, we can help patients, dealing with common injuries or conditions, heal faster. This is particularly true when it comes to plantar fasciitis.

Shockwave therapy for plantar fasciitis has a high success rate. It’s been proven 84% successful in double-blind, randomized, controlled studies.

Plantar Fasciitis – A Common Concern

It is quite common for the thick band of tissue, plantar fascia that connects the heel bone to the toes, to become inflamed. As this tissue helps absorb the stress at the bottom of the feet, if the pressure is too high or persists for a longer period of time, it can get damaged. Many patients complain of the pain being worst in the morning when getting out of bed, or anytime during the day after sitting.

According to an analysis from the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH), women were 2.5 times more likely to report plantar fasciitis than men.

When it comes to the characteristics of plantar fasciitis pain, the survey reported that 25% of the respondents reported having severe plantar fasciitis pain, 45% had moderate pain, and 28% experienced mild pain.

Shockwave Therapy Treatment – A Closer Look

Studies have shown that shockwave therapy is an effective, long-term treatment for plantar fasciitis. A study was done to measure the effectiveness of shockwave therapy for the treatment of chronic recalcitrant plantar fasciitis.

It showed that shockwave therapy improved function and quality of life in patients with recalcitrant plantar fasciitis.

When measured against a placebo group, shockwave therapy proved significantly superior; with a reduction of the visual analog scale composite score of 72.1% compared with 44.7%, and an overall success rate of 61.0% compared with 42.2% in the placebo group at 12 weeks.

The difference was even more pronounced at 12 months and no relevant side effects were observed.

Similarly, another study was conducted to determine the long-term effectiveness of shockwave therapy for the treatment of plantar fasciitis. Ultrasonographic measurement was used as an objective outcome measurement. The results showed that, for patients with a greater than 12-month history of heel pain, shockwave therapy effectively decreased plantar fascia thickness. The average thickness of the plantar fascia was 7.3 ± 2.0 mm before the treatment and 6.0 ± 1.3 mm after the treatment.

So if you are suffering with plantar fasciitis (heel pain) get in touch with us and we will assist you in your treatment. Get in touch via the contact page on our website.


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