Foot pain of any kind makes everyday activities like walking to the kitchen for a snack dreadful. Heel pain is common and has many causes, including conditions that can take some time to improve, like plantar fasciitis.
Our experienced podiatrist, Dr. Richard Hochman, understands the effect heel pain has on daily life and provides innovative treatments like shockwave therapy to reduce the length of your suffering.
In this month’s blog, we want to tell you about shockwave therapy and how it can help your heel pain.
About shockwave therapy
It started with kidney stones. Health care providers first used shockwave therapy in the 1980s as a nonsurgical treatment for kidney stones. The high-energy acoustic waves worked by breaking up the stones, making them easier to pass through the urinary tract and out of the body so patients could avoid surgery.
Thanks to advancements in research and technology, health care providers now use shockwave therapy to treat other health issues like musculoskeletal conditions.
The mechanical force from the shockwave energy increases circulation and cellular activity in the treated area, stimulating the healing process.
Shockwave therapy is especially beneficial in treating musculoskeletal tissue that doesn’t get a lot of blood flow like tendons and ligaments.
Shockwave therapy for heel pain
Plantar fasciitis is a common cause of heel pain. It occurs when you have tiny tears and inflammation in the plantar fascia, the ligament on the bottom of the foot that connects your heel to your toes.
Treatment for plantar fasciitis may include stretching exercises, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), and orthotics. It takes about 10 months of conservative care for the plantar fascia to heal.
If you fail to experience improvements in your heel pain after conservative interventions, we may talk to you about shockwave therapy. The acoustic pressure from the shockwaves mimics an injury, activating the body’s healing process without actually hurting the tissue.
This nonsurgical therapy reduces heel pain immediately by overstimulating the nerve endings and boosting the healing process by increasing blood flow and nutrients to the damaged tissue.
What to expect
You may feel some discomfort during shockwave therapy for heel pain. Some of our patients say the treatment feels like a deep tissue massage, while others may find the acoustic pressure uncomfortable.
We give our patients a local anesthetic to minimize pain during their shockwave therapy treatment.
Shockwave therapy for heel pain at our office takes about 25 minutes. Your foot may feel sore and you may have bruises after treatment, but you can go back to your usual routine right away.
Results vary, but you may experience improvements in heel pain within a week. For complete healing of the injury, we recommend a series of therapy sessions, up to three treatments every 6-12 weeks for the best possible results.
If you have ongoing heel pain that’s affecting your daily life, we can help. Call us at Dr. Hochman’s office in Coral Gables, Florida, today or contact us online to request an appointment.