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Further information about Shockwave therapy can be accessed from the NICE guidelines by clicking here 

Shockwave therapy, also known as Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy (ESWT), is a non-invasive medical treatment that uses high-energy acoustic waves to stimulate healing and reduce pain in various musculoskeletal conditions, including heel pain. It is often used to treat a specific type of heel pain known as plantar fasciitis, which is the inflammation of the plantar fascia, a thick band of tissue that connects the heel bone to the toes.

Here's how shockwave therapy for heel pain works and what you should know about it:

  1. Mechanism of Action: Shockwave therapy works by delivering acoustic waves to the affected area. These high-energy sound waves stimulate increased blood flow to the area, promote tissue regeneration, and decrease inflammation. It is believed to trigger the body's natural healing response.

  2. Procedure: During a shockwave therapy session, a clinician applies gel to the targeted area (the heel, in the case of heel pain) to help transmit the shockwaves. A device called a shockwave generator is then used to send shockwaves into the tissue. The treatment is typically administered on an outpatient basis and doesn't require aesthesia.

  3. Number of Sessions: The number of sessions required can vary depending on the severity of the condition. Typically, a course of several sessions, usually spaced about a week apart, may be recommended. Some people experience relief after just a few sessions, while others may require more.

  4. Duration and Pain: Each session usually lasts about 15 to 20 minutes. You may experience some discomfort or pain during the procedure, but it's generally tolerable. The level of discomfort can vary from person to person.

  5. Recovery: Shockwave therapy is non-surgical and non-invasive, so there is minimal downtime. Patients can often resume their regular activities immediately or within a short period after treatment. However, it's essential to follow post-treatment instructions provided by your healthcare provider.

  6. Effectiveness: The effectiveness of shockwave therapy for heel pain varies from person to person. Some individuals experience significant pain relief and improvement in their condition, while others may not respond as well. It is essential to discuss your expectations and potential outcomes with your healthcare provider before starting treatment.

  7. Side Effects: Side effects are generally mild and temporary, including some swelling, bruising, or mild discomfort. It's essential to follow post-treatment care instructions to minimize any potential side effects.

  8. Contraindications: Shockwave therapy may not be suitable for individuals with certain medical conditions, like bleeding disorders, pregnancy, or the presence of metal implants at the treatment site. It's crucial to consult with a healthcare provider to determine if shockwave therapy is a suitable option for your condition.

If you're experiencing heel pain, it's important to consult with a healthcare professional who can diagnose the underlying cause and recommend an appropriate treatment plan, which may include shockwave therapy or other conservative treatments such as physical therapy, orthotics, and lifestyle modifications.


Shockwave therapy
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