Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy (ESWT) for Plantar Fasciitis
Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy or ESWT is an increasingly common, evidence based tool used in the management of plantar fasciitis.
ESWT works by passing shock waves through the body, targeting the desired tissues, in this case, the plantar fascia (usually where it inserts into the heel). Extracorporeal just means outside of the body, so this is a non-invasive procedure, unlike a steroid injection.
The shock waves help to promote healing, regulate inflammation and increase blood flow to the affected area.
People usually experience some discomfort during treatment, however this is usually short term.
Some people experience an improvement almost instantly, however multiple sessions are generally advised in order to maximise the efficacy of the treatment.
Some people do not find lasting benefits from ESWT, however on the whole, it is proving to be a powerful tool in the management of heel pain and plantar fasciitis, amongst other things.
Like with any therapy, there are risks. If you have recently had a steroid injection, or have had surgery or any metal work in the area, it may not be appropriate.
For more information on the risks, and contraindications of ESWT, find a podiatrist near you, and look at their website to see if they offer this service. They will be able to assess you and decide on the best management plan from there.