Shockwave therapy, a treatment option for patients with plantar fasciitis is providing promising results for Bergen County Northern NJ patients. Plantar fasciitis, commonly referred to as heel spur, is a primary cause of heel pain and affects about 2.5 million people each year in the US. The muscle that stretches along the bottom of the foot, the plantar fascia is responsible for maintaining the arch of your foot. When the plantar fascia pulls away from the bone, your heel becomes painful. Your body may react by filling the space with new bone, a heel spur. Most people think that heel spurs are the cause of their foot pain, but the pain is caused by the inflammation or irritation of your plantar fascia muscle. Plantar fasciitis is caused by several factors and is a common sports injury among runners, walkers, and athletes, overweight people and those whose jobs require a lot of standing or walking are also at high risk.
Other factors leading to plantar fasciitis include flat or high arched feet worn out or improper shoes jogging on sand and increasing age. Shockwave therapy was originally developed by Dornier med tech to break up kidney stones in the body. The therapy was approved by the FDA in the early 1980s, and today is the standard treatment of choice for urinary stones. An important benefit of this therapy is that it’s delivered outside the body therefore many of the risks associated with surgery are eliminated. The shockwaves stimulate or trigger your body’s own repair mechanisms. Doctors around the world, especially in Europe have successfully used the same shockwave technology since the early 1990s. This Dorn system has been designed specifically for orthopedic use. The system consists of three main parts shockwave therapy system. This system produces the actual shockwave, also known as pressure or sound waves, which travel through the therapy.
A water filled cushion at the end of the wand is placed against your foot. The wand is designed to easily move so that the therapy head can be closely aligned to the area of your foot being treated. An imaging system, much like an x-ray is used by the healthcare provider to actually see inside your foot via a live picture screen, allowing the doctor to pinpoint the treatment site and closely watch what’s going on before, during, and after your treatment. Your feedback relative to the exact location of the pain is important too. The treatment takes approximately a half hour before therapy begins. You’ll be asked to identify the area of your foot with the most pain, which the physician will note an ultrasound image of your foot will be taken as well.
You’ll then be given a shot in your foot to numb the area and asked to lie down on an exam table. A gel will then be applied to both your foot and the therapy head, which houses the shockwave source, then be placed against your foot. Using a handheld monitor, your doctor will release the shockwaves with the push of a button on a special control panel. This could potentially eliminate the need for surgery altogether, which is often expensive and could cause other health problems. There are very few side effects or risks involved with shockwave therapy.
The most common patient complaint during therapy is a little pain or discomfort during and after treatment.
Other side effects might include minor skin bruising and or reddening as well as swelling for a brief period.
You’re encouraged to discuss with your physician any reason or reasons why you shouldn’t undergo shockwave treatment or why the treatment has not been used to treat some people. Your personal position is your best source of information, and can better explain the treatment and answer your questions in more detail.