Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy
ECSWT is a non-invasive/non-surgical treatment for chronic plantar fasciitis (heel pain/arch pain) and Achilles tendonitis among other areas of the body that have developed chronic soft tissue damage. Shock Wave Therapy is an alternative to surgery when patients have not been successfully treated with the more traditional options such as medication, injection therapy, physical therapy, orthotics, night splints, and immobilization. Shock Wave Therapy encourages damaged tissue to heal on its own by stimulating the production of fibroblasts and tenocytes. These cells are the building blocks of connective tissue (fascia/tendons). Pulses of mechanical energy similar to soundwaves are generated and introduced through the skin overlying the area of concern. The injured fascia or tendon is subjected to “microtrauma” during the procedure. This leads to increased blood flow and, therefore, an inflammation process that stimulates the body to produce the cells needed for repair and regeneration.
High energy shock wave requires one treatment lasting approximately 20 minutes. It is performed in the office after administration of local anesthesia. On rare occasions a second treatment may be carried out after 16 weeks if necessary. After Shock Wave Therapy is performed, it is advised to limit athletic activities such as running, jumping, hiking, and prolonged walking. Otherwise, no other restrictions regarding activities or foot wear are indicated.
Shock Wave Therapy should be considered by an individual has been experiencing pain for at least 6 months and has attempted at least three traditional therapies.