Extracorporeal shockwave therapy (ESTW)
ESWT is a non-invasive treatment for patients experiencing chronic pain in the heel, plantar fascia or Achilles.
Clinical trials have proven ESWT to be 80% effective in the treatment of heel pain.
There are a number of theories about how this treatment works, the most accepted is that ESWT causes interstitial and extracellular biological responses which have a regenerative and tissue repairing effect in musculoskeletal tissues.
Indications for ESWT
- Plantar fasciopathy
- Achilles tendinopathy
- Peroneal tendinopathy
In most cases (3-6) treatments has found to be effective spaced a week apart in the majority of patients.
ESWT is very simple and requires just the placement of a wand on the effective area with ultrasound gel and the converted shockwaves are then applied to the area.
Patients commonly describe a flicking or light sensation during treatment, this is usually tolerable but some patients may experience an increased sensation when the area is close to bone.
What are the possible side effects of treatment?
Following treatment some patients may experience an increase in symptoms for a short period please avoid anti-inflammatories and take paracetamol if required. There may be some bruising but this is rare.
Other treatments may be required as well as ESWT
- FS6 – compression sock helpful for heel pain
- Calf Stretches
- Orthoses to correct poor lower limb biomechanics
- Steroid Injections