When you come in for foot or heel pain, a number of conservative treatments may be available to help provide relief, such as custom orthotics, night splints, and anti-inflammatory drugs. Sometimes, however, conditions such as plantar fasciitis or Achilles tendinitis don’t respond well enough to these treatments or become a chronic problem. In these situations, Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy (ESWT) might be an eligible option for finding lasting improvement or even full eradication of pain without surgery.
A Non-invasive Therapy that Runs Deep
Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy is an FDA-approved procedure that directs sonic or pressure waves into trouble areas of the foot and heel. The waves are administered from a device outside the body (that’s what the “extracorporeal” part means), leaving no need for incisions, injections, or insertions of any type. A similar form of treatment has been used to treat kidney stones. In this case, however, the shock waves are capable of “jump starting” the healing process in the painful heel and foot areas of many people, with the disruption of the waves potentially increasing blood flow and a reparative response in the area.
An entire session of shock wave therapy usually takes only 15-20 minutes. Three treatments are usually recommended, either one or two weeks apart. Some discomfort can be expected during the procedure, but we are capable of adjusting our STORZ Medical Shock Wave machine and will speak with you during treatments to make sure you can tolerate the experience. We can even take a small break during the course of a session if the area becomes too tender.
Discomfort tends to stop quickly after a treatment has ended, but patients may rarely feel some soreness or tenderness in the area for the next few days. Patients can return to their day completely as normal and should be able to place their full weight on the treated area. Following treatments tend to be much less uncomfortable for most patients.
Is EWST for You?
This form of therapy is recommended as a final means of avoiding the complications of surgery when other treatments don’t provide the needed results. Unfortunately, not everyone can be a candidate for it. Patients who are pregnant, have very poor circulation, or have certain heart conditions should not undergo EWST. We can discuss your options with you closely to help you decide whether this or another form of treatment would be best for your specific situation.
The Foot and Ankle Commitment in Oklahoma City
If pain in your heel or foot has been affecting your quality of life, don’t wait on it in hope it goes away. In most cases, these problems only grow worse. No matter how long you have been suffering, call Dr. Darren Elenburg and the staff of Foot & Ankle Center of Oklahoma. We will get to the root causes of your problems and work to find the most effective and least invasive treatments available. Schedule an appointment with us by calling (405) 418-2676 and take the first step toward relief today.
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