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Get Rid of Plantar Fasciitis Without Surgery

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Get Rid of Plantar Fasciitis Without Surgery | Gotham Footcare

Get Rid of Plantar Fasciitis Without Surgery

More often than not, patients avoid treating their foot pain due to time constraints and fear of needing surgery. Shockwave Therapy, a non-invasive option for plantar fasciitis, is perfect for patients that have exhausted conservative care. It’s also a safe treatment alternative to surgery.

What is plantar fasciitis?

The plantar fascia is a thick band of connective tissue (fascia) that runs from your heel bone to the base of your toes. Its essential functions are to support the foot's natural arch and absorb shock to distribute forces evenly across the foot. Plantar fasciitis is a condition that occurs due to repetitive stress along the plantar fascia, which creates irritation or minor tearing. Pain is mainly felt at the heel or throughout the arch.

Common signs of plantar fasciitis include but are not limited to an increase in heel pain with the first steps after a period of inactivity or after prolonged weight-bearing activity.

Who gets plantar fasciitis and why?

Plantar fasciitis risk factors include:

  • Tight calf muscles
  • Overpronation during walking
  • Pes cavus (high arch) or pes planus (flat foot)
  • Obesity
  • Repetitive impact
  • New or increased weight-bearing activity
  • Leg length discrepancy
  • Bad shoe wear
  • Loss of ankle dorsiflexion
  • Diabetes Mellitus

All the risk factors mentioned above cause the plantar fascia to overwork leading to irritation and pain.

What can reduce pain from plantar fasciitis without undergoing surgery?

There have been many researched conservative treatment interventions/modalities that can help alleviate plantar heel/foot pain without surgery. The two primary conservative treatment options are physical therapy and shockwave.

How does Shockwave Therapy work on Plantar Fasciitis?

Simply put, the shockwave machine sends energy (radial pressure waves) into the body to help stimulate a healing process. Aside from directly stimulating this healing process, the shockwave can also help to relax stiff muscles, reduce muscle tone, and increase blood circulation.

What to expect in a shockwave therapy session?

During your first shockwave session, your provider will take a brief history of your symptoms and locate your pain. Your provider will then determine which shockwave heads are more beneficial for your unique case. Next, your provider will explain the desired intensity and what sensations you will experience during the treatment.

Typical shockwave sessions range from 10-20 minutes. Possible side effects from shockwave therapy include swelling, reddening, hematoma, petechia, pain, or skin lesions (in the case of previous cortisone use). These side effects, if present, should last no more than one week. It is possible to experience a slight worsening of your symptoms one day after your shockwave treatment, but this is not of concern and is a normal healing response. Your provider will explain before, during, and after your shockwave session that you can continue with your normal activities and daily function to tolerance without needing to be off of your feet.

Is shockwave therapy painful?

It is important that your provider starts the shockwave treatment in a tolerable range of pain to prevent unwanted muscle tension as a protective response. The goal is to progress the intensity of the machine to the point where your pain levels are at a 5/10 on the numerical pain rating scale (NPRS) when the device is on. The NPRS is based on 0 (no pain) to 10 (maximal pain). It is important to note that the discomfort felt during the shockwave treatment will stop when the treatment is finished.

What is the success rate of shockwave therapy on plantar fasciitis?

A full shockwave treatment plan for plantar fasciitis yields about an 80-85% success rate at reducing pain and limitations secondary to pain.

How long does shockwave therapy last for plantar fasciitis?

Typical shockwave treatment length is 3-6 sessions, one session per week.

Am I a good candidate for shockwave therapy?

In order to determine if you are a good fit for shockwave therapy, it is best to consult a medical professional to perform a detailed examination of your symptoms.

Who should not get shockwave therapy?

Shockwave therapy is contraindicated in the following situations:

  • Presence of a malignant tumor in or around the desired treatment area
  • Pregnancy
  • Active infection
  • Open wounds
  • Impaired sensation
  • Impaired cognition

Can I continue my physical activities while I am receiving shockwave therapy?

The beauty of shockwave therapy is the ability to continue with normal activities and physical functions throughout the course of your treatment. Additionally, there is no requirement to offload or rest the treated area.

Dr. Jared Einhorn New York Director of Physical Therapy Dr. Jared Einhorn is the Director of Physical Therapy at Gotham Footcare.

At Gotham Footcare in NYC, we strive at recognizing your individual needs and desired outcomes while formulating an effective and personalized treatment plan with the highest quality care available.

What sets Gotham Footcare apart from other podiatry offices is our dedication to providing you with the education you need to make well-informed decisions regarding your care. Regardless of what your foot and ankle trouble may be, at Gotham Footcare our team will work tirelessly to help you feel better. At Gotham Footcare, we help you put your best foot forward.