Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy (ESWT)
ESWT is a procedure where shock waves are passed through the skin to the injured part of the foot, 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 speeds up your body’s healing process. You will usually require a course of three treatments, one to two weeks apart.
ESWT is offered to patients who have not responded well enough to other treatments such as physiotherapy, orthotics (insoles or leg braces), rest, steroid injection, ice therapy and pain relief. It is a minimally invasive treatment that is carried out on an outpatient basis, which means that you can go home the same day. ESWT can offer relief from pain and other symptoms.
ESWT is very effective at treating both Achilles Tendinopathy and Plantar Fasciitis which are two very common conditions that result in foot and ankle pain.
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.
Plantar fasciitis is inflammation of the plantar fascia. This is a thick fibrous band of tissue at the bottom of your foot that lies between your toes and your heel. Repeated small injuries to the plantar fascia are believed to be the cause of the inflammation.