What is Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy?

Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy is also known by its short form of ESWT and it’s a type of treatment for multiple tendonopathies which are derived from lithotripsy. ESWT is becoming more common in various medical areas including wound applications, cardiology, and urology, mainly for erectile dysfunction and is offered at FIT Physiotherapy of Newmarket.

In addition, extracorporeal shockwave therapy has been found to be quite effective when it comes to treating pain caused by calcific tendonitis of the shoulder as well as plantar fasciitis.

Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy is basically a noninvasive surgical procedure which stimulates healing by using sound waves. The word Extracorporeal basically translates to “outside of the body” which refers to how the therapy is applied. Since the method doesn’t require an incision there are a couple of advantages to ESWT when compared to traditional surgical procedures as there’s less chance for complications and you’ll be able to return to your normal routine quicker.

Shockwave Therapy Newmarket

Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy for Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis known as the world’s most common type of heel pain. It occurs when the plantar fascia becomes inflamed. This is the tissue which stretches from your heel bone and across to the arch of the foot to the base of your toes. If a bony protrusion can be seen Plantar fasciitis is often referred to as heel spur syndrome. ESWT is often used as a therapeutic choice for people who can’t get rid of the pain via conservative treatments such as stretching, ice packs, steroid injections, anti-inflammatory drugs, physical therapy, and orthotic devices.

When ESWT was first used to treat plantar fascia it was an out-patient situation where local anesthesia was used. However, in many cases it can now be performed at a doctor’s office in about 10 minutes. Patients should stay away from ESWT though if they have vascular and neurological disease of the foot, if they’re pregnant, if they have ruptured their plantar fascial ligament, have bleeding disorders, if they have open bone growth plates, and if they have any medical pins or screw implanted in the area. In addition, ESWT doesn’t mix well with blood-clotting medications such as prophylactic aspirin and Coumadin.

Your surgeon will assess your medical history and let you know if ESWT is a good option for you. If you’re going to be treated with the therapy the doctor will instruct you to cease any anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen or aspirin approximately five days prior to the procedure. This is because these medications may prolong bleeding underneath the skin’s surface. The method consists of sound waves penetrating the area and stimulating the healing. The sound waves create new blood flow in the affected area and this helps to heal the tissues. In some cases, you may need more than one ESWT treatment to alleviate your heel pain.

After the treatment you may be asked to elevate and rest the foot and then gently stretch the heel area. You may also be instructed to stay away from anti-inflammatory medication for about a month. Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy treatment is approved by the American Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for both tennis elbow and plantar fasciitis and the administration is also studying how it can be used as a treatment for recalcitrant diabetic wounds.

If you have questions about Shockwave Therapy and how it can help with your physio treatment plan, contact us today to speak to a health professional.  FIT Physiotherapy offers Shockwave Therapy treatment as well as a variety of natural and drug free physiotherapy treatment solutions.

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