How can Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy (ESWT) Solve My Plantar Fasciitis & Achilles Tendinopathy Pain?

At Flawless Feet Podiatry & Laser Clinic, Extracorporeal shockwave therapy or ESWT is offered to patients with Plantar Fasciitis and Achilles Tendinopathy. It is offered to those who have not responded adequately to conservative treatments, such as physiotherapy, rest, steroid injection, ice therapy and painkillers. It is a minimally invasive treatment that is carried out in Clinic and can offer relief from pain and other symptoms.

What is Plantar Fasciitis and Achilles Tendinopathy?

Plantar fasciitis is the most common cause of heel pain. The plantar fascia is the flat band of tissue (ligament) that connects your heel bone to your toes and supports the arch of your foot. If you strain your plantar fascia, it gets weak, swollen, and irritated (inflamed). Repeated small injuries to the plantar fascia is also believed to be the cause of the inflammation. Then your heel or the bottom of your foot hurts when you stand or walk.

Achilles tendinopathy is a condition that causes pain, swelling, stiffness and weakness to the Achilles tendon, which attaches your calf muscle to your heel bone. It is thought to be caused by repeated small injuries to the tendon that do not heal and build up over time.

Why should I have ESWT?

Extracorporeal shockwave therapy or ESWT is a specialist treatment for chronic and painful musculoskeletal conditions such as Plantar Fasciitis/Achilles Tendinopathy. It is a procedure where shock waves are passed through the skin to the injured area, using a special device.

Extracorporeal means outside of the body. The shockwaves are mechanical and not electric; they are audible, low energy sound waves, which work by increasing blood flow to the injured area. This accelerates the body’s healing process.

At Flawless Feet Podiatry & Laser Clinic the team are highly trained in administering ESWT and use state-of-the-art equipment. We have produced excellent results in alleviating pain and expediting the healing process in patients who have chronic conditions that have not responded to conventional treatments.

You will usually require a course of three treatments, one to two weeks apart.

What are the risks/side effects?

You will experience some pain during the treatment, but you should be able to tolerate this. Following the treatment, you may experience redness, bruising, swelling and numbness to the area. These side effects should resolve within a week, before your next treatment. There is a small risk of tendon rupture or ligament rupture and damage to the soft tissue. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) have deemed this procedure to be safe, although there are some uncertainties about how well it works. For this reason, every patient will be monitored before and after the treatments to discover how successful the outcome is. Studies have shown there is UP to 80% chance that it will be effective.

So what next?

You will be asked to complete a questionnaire before your treatment starts.

You must not have ESWT if you:

  • Are pregnant
  • Are taking antiplatelets (for example, aspirin or clopidigrel) or anticoagulants (such as warfarin or rivaroxaban)
  • Have a blood clotting disorder
  • Are under the age of 18
  • Have been diagnosed with bone cancer
  • Have a cardiac pacemaker or other cardiac device
  • Have an infection in your foot or a history of tendon or ligament rupture
  • Have had any steroid injections in the previous 12 weeks

These will be discussed with you by your healthcare professional when the treatment is offered. Please let us know if you have any questions or would like any further information.

How can I prepare for ESWT?

You will need to ensure that you are available for the full course of your treatment.
You should refrain from taking non steroidal anti-inflammatory medication (for example ibuprofen, aspirin) for two weeks before your first procedure and throughout your treatment.

You can eat and drink normally before your treatment.
Please wear comfortable clothes as you will be lying on your front for the treatment.

What happens during ESWT?

You will be asked to lie on your front with your legs supported by a pillow. We will put some ultrasound gel on the injured area and then place the hand piece of the device over the surface of the skin and the gel. The ESWT is delivered using this hand piece – it delivers compressed air impulses through the ultrasound gel. Each treatment will take approximately 15 minutes.

Will I feel any pain?

Most patients do experience some pain during the procedure. You will be asked how much pain you are experiencing during the treatment and we will attempt to adjust the treatment to help manage this. The pain will stop at the end of your procedure.

What happens after ESWT?

After the treatment you will be able to get up and walk straight away. If you do experience discomfort following the shockwave treatment you can take over the counter painkillers (such as paracetamol) but you should avoid anti-inflammatory medication (such as aspirin and ibuprofen) and ice therapy, as these can interfere with the body’s healing process

Our Extracorporeal Shockwave Treatment is indicated for:

  • Tendon Injuries such as Achilles Tendonitis, Patella Tendonopathy
  • Plantar Fasciitis also known as Policeman’s heel, Runners Heel
  • Greater Trochanteric Pain Syndrome also knows as hip bursitis
  • Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome also known as Shin Splints
  • Delayed bone healing and Stress Fractures
  • Morton’s neuroma

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Modern equipment and highly-qualified practitioners

If you are looking for effective pain relief and leading edge advanced treatments then Flawless feet Podiatry & Laser Clinic is the right team for you.. Our specialist Podiatrists are highly experienced and well-trained. We also use the latest equipment and procedures to ensure that you get the best care possible for your foot problems and lower limb injuries. Based in Forest Hill, South East London, We are easy to get to and only 15 mins train ride from Central London. Contact us and book Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy (ESWT)

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