Right away you feel it—only your first step of the morning and the discomfort is there. That harsh pain threatens to make every footfall agonizing and hard to take. No one wants to limit their movements, or cut back on their busy lives because of pain. For persistent heel problems, though, you may feel like you are running out of options. You may have tried a number of solutions without much change. Fortunately, plantar fasciitis—the most common source of heel pain—has another non-surgical option: non-invasive shockwave therapy.
Sound Waves Ring in Comfort
Shockwave therapy is a treatment that uses targeted sound waves to gently stimulate blood flow and tissue repair in the uncomfortable area. The machine emits high-pressure waves that travel outward in a megaphone-shaped pattern. They pass through the skin and into the affected heel. In addition to encouraging blood flow and cell growth, the therapy has been shown to reverse inflammation and dissolve calcium deposits in the heel. Even stubborn plantar fasciitis that hasn’t been responding to other conservative treatments has been relieved through shockwave therapy. If your heel pain just doesn’t seem to go away, this procedure may be what you need.
Getting the Treatment
At Advanced Foot & Ankle Specialists of Arizona, we perform this treatment in our office. The wave pulses are directed to the most painful place in the heel for roughly 10-20 minutes. After it’s done, you are free to go back to your daily activities. A series of procedures is generally considered the most effective, and your activities are not limited in between appointments. After several treatments and continued monitoring by Drs. Laurino and Su, you should experience some relief, though complete healing takes an approximated 6-8 weeks. Many studies have shown a more than 75% success rate for real healing.
Side Effects and Risks
Shockwave therapy, while safe, does have a few potential risks, so it is generally considered an option for patients after other conservative treatments have failed. It’s possible for the treatment to cause light bruising or swelling, some redness, and temporary sensitivity to the area. People who bleed easily, are on blood thinners, or have other vascular disorders have higher risk for side effects. Studies don’t recommend this procedure for children, either, because their bones have not finished growing. However, if you find that icing, stretching, orthotics, and anti-inflammatory medications have failed to provide relief, then you may find the sound waves offer a real reprieve from discomfort.
Chronic plantar fasciitis can interrupt your daily life and limit your mobility. It affects every step and reminds you again and again that you are not able to find relief. You don’t, however, have to give up activity altogether to deal with your discomfort. If nothing else has worked, shockwave therapy can alleviate and heal your stubborn pain. Don’t settle for limiting your life to accommodate your foot condition—contact Advanced Foot & Ankle Specialists of Arizona and deal with your pain. You can reach Drs. Laurino, Su, Freestone, or Wilde for an appointment or more information by visiting the contact page on the website. If you prefer calling, dial one of their two conveniently located offices: (480) 963-9000 for the office in Chandler, and (480) 981-1800 for the office in Gilbert. Additionally, we can be reached by fax: (480) 963-0375 for Chandler and (480) 981-0229 for Gilbert.