ESWT - Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy
Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy also known as ESWT is a noninvasive option for pain relief from heel pain that is particularly associated with plantar fasciitis. Originally developed to dissolve kidney stones, this procedure involves shockwaves, or sound waves, being directed from outside the body and can be directed onto the heel of the foot. Sending shockwaves into a patient’s foot is intended to stimulate the speed up of the body’s own healing process. ESWT is also capable of over-stimulating nerves, reducing sensitivity and pain in the foot.
Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy is designed to be a noninvasive alternative to heal foot pain. There are many other non-evasive, non-surgical options that are also intended to reduce heel pain and repair the condition of plantar fasciitis. Other methods and treatments include rest, physical therapy, heel cushions, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (ibuprofen, acetaminophen, etc), cortisone injections, taping, shoe modifications, night splinting and casting. Among the most popular and most successful treatments is using an orthotic shoe insert.
How Does ESWT Work?
To begin the Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy (ESWT), the patient will arrive at the treatment center and meet their doctor along with an ESWT technician. The patient is reclined, either in a chair or on a bed, as the technician begins to administer the shockwaves into the area of the inflamed fascia. During this 20 minute procedure, thousands of shock waves are sent into the heel of the foot. After the procedure is over, the patient is free to go home.
Although there are some proven beneficial results from Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy (ESWT), the procedure is not for everyone, and alternative healing methods may prove to be a much better option. Initially, a physician usually recommends ESWT in cases where the patient has suffered for a substantial amount of time from chronic plantar fasciitis. ESWT is not administered to patients who have pacemakers or who are taking certain medications. Additionally, children and women who are pregnant are also not advised to use this method of treatment. It is used primarily as a last measure, if other conservative treatments are unsuccessful, to stop heel pain in order to avoid surgery.
What Are the Risks of Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy?
Unlike many conservative treatments for plantar fasciitis, Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy can produce negative side effects. The procedure can be painful, and can cause pain immediately following the procedure. Other side effects from ESWT are minor skin bruising, reddening, and swelling around the treated area. Many of these side effects often go away after a short period of time, however, like the surgical option, the ESWT treatment still has potential side effects that the patient should be aware of before undertaking the procedure.
Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy is also a very expensive procedure, often costing in excess of $1,000 before insurance. This is a high price for a relatively new heel pain treatment that does not guarantee success. It is in the patient’s best interests to examine all other possible treatments that may prove to not only be safer and less costly, but also are just as successful in healing plantar fasciitis.
Alternative Treatments to ESWT
Orthotic shoe inserts are a popular alternative to the Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy (ESWT) procedure. Shoe inserts are a conservative and easy way to relive plantar fasciitis pain. Orthotics such as our heel pads and heel seats are inexpensive when compared to costly ESWT and offer successful healing against pain associated with plantar fasciitis.
Our heel pads, heel seats, arch supports, and insoles come in an array of sizes and are designed to fit seamlessly into your shoes and provide effective relief from plantar fasciitis. They are made from specially researched and formulated materials to meet stringent anatomical specifications. The design provides a snug fit while giving maximum support around the inflamed area. They are also able to flex as you walk or run which allows them to work and reduce the effects of plantar fasciitis and other painful conditions without becoming uncomfortable and interfering with your daily lifestyle.
Our famous treatments are a proven alternative to Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy (ESWT). Star athletes, such as NBA basketball stars John Starks and Jason Kidd, and also physicians have used our products and continue to recommend them to those who suffer from the aching pain of plantar fasciitis. Also, with a 99.7% successes rate, this offers a simple, inexpensive, and easy alternative to ESWT to relive heel pain and heal plantar fasciitis.