Heel Pain? Get Better Faster With Shockwave

Heel Pain? Get Better Faster With Shockwave

From plantar fasciitis at the bottom of the heel to the Achilles tendon pain at the back of the heel, the prevalence of heel pain in New Zealand has been rising significantly for decades. With heel pain being one of the most common problems that our podiatrists see and treat here at Marlborough Podiatry, we’re always looking at the research and techniques to help us continue to get the best results for you as quickly as possible when it comes to heel pain treatment. 

One treatment that continues to come out on top for heel pain is shockwave treatment. This is an innovative treatment that has taken the medical world by storm overseas, and we’re delighted to have it available for you right here in Marlborough.

Shockwave: What Is It?

Otherwise known as radial pressure wave therapy, shockwave works by generating acoustic pressure waves which are emitted into the area the handpiece is applied to – the site of your injury and pain. It works to accelerate the healing of both tissues and bone, which means the injured site heals faster – and your pain resolves faster.

Shockwave is clinically proven to:

  • Reduce pain – by creating an anaesthetic effect on the nerve fibres, shockwave helps to block pain signals
  • Stimulate the formation of new blood vessels – shockwave helps to promote the development of new blood vessels to the area, meaning more blood flow and faster healing and recovery for tissues and bones
  • Stimulate metabolic activity – shockwave works on a cellular level to promote the release of substances that inhibit pain and inflammation, hence promoting healing and repair
  • Reduce inflammation
  • Facilitate the body’s healing and repair process in new injuries
  • Reboot the healing process in longstanding conditions or injuries
  • Stimulate the regeneration of tendons
  • Reduce muscle spasticity
  • Disintegrate tendon calcifications

Shockwave & Heel Pain

Shockwave has continually proven its effectiveness with heel pain with a range of studies showing excellent results. When it comes to Achilles pain, it has shown to reduce pain “significantly” (which is a great outcome from a study) and contribute to an excellent or good recovery. These results were found in longstanding (chronic) Achilles tendinopathy too, so even if you’ve been struggling on and off for years with little success, we recommend trying shockwave.

Similarly, studies have shown that shockwave is effective for plantar fasciitis, taking into consideration a person’s pain, function and quality of life – exactly what our patients are concerned with. 

While we’re talking about heel pain today, it’s worthwhile mentioning that shockwave is also used extensively on the lower limbs (and upper limbs for that matter). It is used for treating:

  • Knee pain (runner’s knee, patellar tendon injury, osteoarthritis)
  • Shin splints and shin pain
  • Calf injuries
  • Hamstrings
  • Bursitis
  • Bone repairs
  • Calcifications
  • Trigger points
  • Assisting wound healing in the diabetic foot

Why You Should Consider Shockwave

We only recommend shockwave where it is safe and relevant to do so, but it has wide applicability as it is  a non-invasive treatment (it doesn’t penetrate/cut into the skin). This means that it doesn’t carry the risks that an invasive treatment, like surgery, does for infection and recovery. This means:

  • You don’t need any anaesthetic or other injections with the treatment
  • You don’t need to take medications to have the treatment
  • It’s non-surgical while delivering fantastic results
  • It has a short treatment time
  • By stimulating the body’s own repair processes, it’s great for conditions that are normally difficult or time-consuming to treat
  • It has proven its effectiveness in both new and longstanding (chronic) pain
  • It has very few complications or adverse effects
  • You’ll likely return to your regular activities faster compared to having surgical alternatives
  • You don’t tend to experience any additional pain or discomfort after your session
  • No need to take time off work while having your shockwave treatment sessions

What Does A Shockwave Session Look Like?

We’ve described exactly what you can expect during a session of shockwave here. You’ll know that it’s working because we expect to see a notable reduction in your pain and symptoms weekly. 

Does Shockwave Hurt?

When we use shockwave, we apply the handpiece to an area that is already damaged and injured. So you may experience some tenderness during your treatment, though some experience no pain at all. After the treatment is complete, you shouldn’t feel any additional discomfort, and many patients report feeling much better. The beauty of shockwave is that it’s completely in the control of your podiatrist – meaning we can adjust the settings and intensity at any time to match your tolerance levels.

Booking Your Shockwave Appointment

We’ll only perform shockwave on conditions and injuries where we know it can help your recovery, so before we start, we always perform an assessment to confirm your diagnosis, that shockwave will be beneficial, and that shockwave is safe for you. While it’s safe for the majority of people, there are a few conditions where we won’t proceed with shockwave (like having malignancies, having had cortisone in the area recently, having blood clotting disorders and the like).

After this, it’s time to get started! To make a booking, please give us a call on (03) 972 2927, or book online here.

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