Plantar fasciitis and Achilles tendinitis are common conditions that result in pain, inflammation, and discomfort. Both of these conditions can be caused by overuse or injury, and they both impact daily activities such as walking or running.
While there are several treatment options available, radial extracorporeal shockwave therapy has gained popularity as an effective treatment for foot and ankle conditions — and it’s available at the Manhattan Podiatry Associates, PC, offices in Midtown and Downtown Manhattan.
Below, our team of expert podiatrists explores four benefits of shockwave therapy for these conditions.
What is shockwave therapy?
Radial extracorporeal shockwave therapy — most often just referred to as shockwave therapy — is a noninvasive medical treatment that uses high-energy sound waves to stimulate healing and reduce pain in various podiatric conditions, such as plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendinopathy, and Morton’s neuroma.
During the procedure, a shockwave generator delivers high-energy sound waves to the affected area of your foot or ankle. The sound waves create microtrauma in the tissue, and while this doesn’t harm you, it does trigger your body's natural healing response. This response includes increased blood flow, the formation of new blood vessels, and the production of collagen, which helps repair damaged tissue.
Shockwave therapy is typically performed on an outpatient basis and can take anywhere from 15-30 minutes per session. The number of sessions needed will depend on the severity of the condition being treated and your response to treatment
4 benefits of shockwave therapy
Now that we’ve covered what shockwave therapy is and how it works, let’s explore the four reasons to consider this treatment for a soft tissue injury like plantar fasciitis or Achilles tendinitis.
Nonsurgical and noninvasive
Shockwave therapy is a noninvasive treatment option, which means it doesn't require any surgical incisions or injections. This makes it a safe and effective option for patients without any risks of postoperative pain or infection. Because it’s nonsurgical, you won’t have to take weeks off work to recover.
Improves blood flow to the affected area
Shockwave therapy works by sending acoustic sound waves into the affected soft tissues on a cellular level. These sound waves increase blood flow to the area, which can help promote healing and reduce inflammation. Improved blood flow can also help to reduce pain and discomfort associated with plantar fasciitis and Achilles tendinitis.
Shockwave therapy can accelerate the healing process by promoting the growth of new blood vessels and tissue. That’s because each new blood vessel brings oxygen and healing factors through your blood. This can help repair damaged tissue and reduce your risk of future injury.
Additionally, shockwave therapy can stimulate the production of collagen, which is an essential protein for tissue repair and can help strengthen the affected area.
One of the primary benefits of shockwave therapy is improved mobility. People who undergo shockwave therapy for a foot or ankle condition often experience a significant reduction in pain and stiffness, which can improve your ability to perform daily activities.
Improved mobility can also help reduce your risk of future injury, as you’re able to move more freely without pain or discomfort.
Questions about shockwave therapy for plantar fasciitis or another tendon pathology? We offer shockwave therapy in both of our New York City offices. Call our location most convenient to you or book an appointment online today.