Plantar fasciitis is a painful foot condition that can take months to clear up, even with treatment. Your podiatrist might try treatments such as a night splint, steroid injections, physical therapy, and orthotics, but if those don't help, your doctor might recommend shock wave treatments. These have been effective at relieving pain and assisting in healing for many people, but they don't always work for everyone. Here's how this plantar fasciitis treatment works.
The Shock Waves Are Delivered To Your Heel
Plantar fasciitis often causes heel pain that makes it difficult to walk. You can have the condition in one foot or both feet at the same time. The shock waves are delivered to one or both heels to help relieve the pain. You'll stretch out on a table on your stomach so the doctor can work on your heel.
You'll probably get a local anesthetic and maybe even a sedative since the shock waves can be painful, especially when your heel already hurts. The podiatrist applies gel to your heel and then moves a probe over the gel. Shock waves are then delivered deep into the tissues of your heel.
Shock Waves Promote Healing In A Few Ways
Shock waves can target areas where calcium is accumulating in tissues and causing pain. The calcium can be broken up and removed by your body. The waves also promote increased blood flow and growth factors in your painful heel. Shock wave therapy is considered a type of regenerative therapy in that it can help your body heal wounds, regenerate tissue, and remodel bones.
It also helps relieve pain. You might notice pain relief after your initial treatment, but like most types of regenerative medicine, full results take time to appreciate since your body has to heal itself. You could even need multiple shock wave treatments to get the best results. Since healing can take time, you may need to continue with other plantar fasciitis treatments, such as wearing your night splint and doing stretching exercises.
Recovery From This Plantar Fasciitis Treatment Is Quick
You might go back to work after a shock wave treatment if you have a sedentary job, but your doctor may prefer that you rest your feet for the remainder of the day. Plus, you may feel woozy from the sedative, and that needs to wear off before you resume normal activities. You might be cleared to return to an active lifestyle in a day or two, but your podiatrist may want you to hold off on running for several days.