Having pain in the heel can be incredibly difficult. It can make walking nearly impossible when the pain is too severe. Heel pain is often caused by a condition called plantar fasciitis. Plantar fasciitis involves the tissue at the bottom of the foot that helps keep the arch bent and fastens your toes to your heel bone. When this tissue becomes strained, you feel it as a sharp pain in your heel, often in the morning when you first stand up.
When people first experience this condition, it may not be that bad or it will fade throughout the day, which can lead to them ignoring it. However, this can contribute to it becoming a chronic condition. Fortunately, there is treatment for plantar fasciitis and heel pain. One of these is shockwave therapy. There are a few signs that may indicate that you need shockwave therapy.
What Is Shockwave Therapy?
The name shockwave therapy may sound a bit imposing, but it is far from that. In fact, it is a relatively simple procedure that is done on an outpatient basis. Shockwave therapy uses an electrical charge to create an energy wave that is directed into inflamed tissue. The idea is that this wave will trigger your body's natural healing process, which can help form new cells and reduce inflammation.
A doctor will first pinpoint the painful or tender part of your heel and mark it. They will then apply gel to help conduct the energy waves. The doctor will then use a probe to send the shockwaves into the inflamed area. Here are five signs you may need shockwave therapy as a treatment for plantar fasciitis.
Having severe pain in your heel will likely lead you to get medical help. It’s also a significant enough sign to consider shockwave therapy. Be sure to consult your doctor to see if this is a good fit for you.
2. Other treatments Have Failed
Have you tried several forms of treatment and still have heel pain? Your treatment options can begin to feel limited, usually coming down to custom-made shoes or soles, steroid injections, or surgeries. Custom orthopedics and steroid injections are not long-term solutions, and surgery can take a while to recover from. This is where shockwave therapy can be an excellent next step.
3. Looking for Short Recovery
Some forms of treatment, especially surgery, take a long time to recover from, which can be difficult if you are working. Shockwave therapy does not have a long recovery period. You can get treatment for your heel pain and go back to work not long after. The whole treatment takes around four visits, with each session lasting about 20 minutes.
4. Wanting Immediate Relief from Pain in the Heel
If you are in severe pain, you likely want a treatment that will provide rapid relief. Most patients of shockwave therapy experience some level of immediate pain relief. This is true for those with plantar fasciitis and other causes of heel pain.
5. Achilles Tendonitis
While shockwave therapy is commonly used for plantar fasciitis, it has also shown great results in other conditions, including Achilles tendonitis. If this is something you struggle with, you should consult your doctor to see if shockwave therapy would be beneficial.
Diablo Foot & Ankle Is Here to Help
If you are having heel pain or other types of foot- or ankle-related difficulties, Diablo Foot & Ankle can help. We offer several forms of treatment and services, as we want to help you recover as soon as possible. Give us a call today with any questions regarding your condition or our services.
Common Podiatry Questions
What is a Podiatrist?
A podiatrist is a doctor who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of disorders of the foot and ankle.
What does a Podiatrist treat?
A podiatrist is a doctor who specializes in the medical and surgical care of the feet. They can treat conditions such as ingrown toenails, fungal toenails, bunions, hammertoes, and plantar fasciitis.
What’s the difference between a Podiatrist and Orthopedist?
A Podiatrist and Orthopedist are very similar to each other in many ways. They use most of the same tools and treat a lot of the same conditions. The main difference between the two is their medical training. Podiatrists are trained exclusively on the foot and ankle, whereas the Orthopedic is trained on the whole body with an additional year of training on the foot and ankle.