Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy (ESWT) is a noninvasive procedure used to treat chronic heel pain, also known as plantar fasciitis or heel spur syndrome. This therapy is considered a safe and effective alternative to traditional surgical procedures and only requires a short recovery time.
During ESWT, strong sound waves are directed at the area of pain using a device similar to that used to treat kidney stones. The sound waves penetrate the heel area and stimulate a healing response by the body. It typically lasts about 30 minutes and is performed under local or twilight anesthesia.
ESWT is prescribed for patients who have experienced plantar fasciitis for an extended period of time, six months or more, and have not benefited from other conservative treatments. This therapy is not recommended for pregnant women, individuals with neurological or vascular foot disease, pacemakers, or those taking medications that interfere with blood clotting like Coumadin.
The success rate of ESWT in treating plantar fasciitis is about 70 percent according to clinical studies. It is important to note that this therapy is not a cure for heel pain but rather a treatment option that can reduce pain and improve mobility.
If you are experiencing chronic heel pain and have not found relief with conservative treatments, ESWT may be an option for you. Consult with a podiatrist like Dr Gilbert Huang DPM, who can evaluate your condition and recommend the appropriate treatment plan based on your individual needs.
Overall, Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy is a safe and effective treatment option for chronic heel pain that only requires a short recovery time. With a high success rate, this therapy can offer relief to those who have been suffering from plantar fasciitis for extended periods of time.