Plantar Fasciitis is an orthopedic condition that affects the arch of the foot and the heel bone. The irritation to the tissue of the foot’s arch results in foot pain beneath the heel. The symptom of pain occurs after standing or walking for long periods of time. While simple measures like rest, the use of anti-inflammatory medications and shoe inserts are all that is needed for some people, some people simply fail to find relief with any common treatments. In these cases, more aggressive treatment may be needed.
While an orthopedic surgeon has options for treating plantar fasciitis, surgery is often left as the resort. This is due to a low success rate and the potential for causing further complications from side effects. Today, extracorporeal shock wave therapy (ESWT) is being increasingly used as an effective treatment option for those with chronic plantar fasciitis.
How Shock Wave Therapy Works
ESWT works by delivering either low-energy or high-energy shock waves that are focused on the affected area. Treatments with low-energy shock waves may be at most mildly painful while those that use high-energy shock waves cause pain severe enough to require anesthesia. The potential for pain and the need for three to four treatments usually mean that orthopedic doctors prefer to use the low-energy treatments on their patients. terapia onde d’urto Napoli
Although ESWT has shown good results in treating plantar fasciitis, it is not really known how it works. It is believed to be from the microtrauma caused by the shock treatment and the body’s healing response. This results in the formation of blood vessels that carry more nutrients to the area so that symptoms are relieved.
History of ESWT for Plantar Fasciitis
Soon after the first successful uses of ESWT for this condition were reported in 1996, the FDA gave their approval for the treatment in 2000. While not all studies have shown the same degree of effectiveness, ESWT continues to be preferred by orthopedic surgeons who want a better option for patients than surgery when conventional treatments fail. Doctors and patients alike prefer to avoid surgery whenever possible.
In addition, the surgery for plantar fasciitis is also known to cause potentially serious complications that are not typically associated with shock wave therapy. In light of the potential for wound problems, infections, and long-term pain that are associated with surgery, shock wave therapy is often thought to be a much more desirable option in spite of all patients not being cured from their symptoms.