An update for one of the most common injuries in runners – plantar fasciitis. It can be a severe sharp pain in the sole of the foot just off the heel bone. It is a chronic degenerative condition that is brought about by excess training and is often associated with biomechanical abnormalities such as flat feet and tight calves.
A relatively new treatment technique called shockwave therapy has been shown to be very effective for treating plantar fasciitis.
Shockwave therapy, also known as Extracorporeal Shockwave therapy (ESWT) or radial shockwave therapy (rESWT) is a safe and effective non-surgical treatment for many soft tissue disorders. ESWT delivers impulses of energy (shockwaves) to painful and damaged tissues to promote healing and regeneration.
Most of the scientific research, including many of The National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) guidelines supports the use of ESWT for tendon pain and some other soft tissues problems including:
ESWT works by creating microtrauma to the damaged painful tissues, this increases blood flow to the affected area, stimulates cell regeneration and healing, and can also stimulate local chemical release in the painful tissues that desensitise the nerves that are causing pain.
ESWT is a very successful line of treatment for people with tendon problems and scientific research is showing a very high success rate especially when shockwave is combined with physiotherapy and exercise.
We recommend six sessions of ESWT over six weeks for most tendon problems. You may not experience an immediate improvement in your symptoms and you may also notice a brief increase in pain. However you should start to notice an improvement in your symptoms during the 6 week treatment process, with results most noticeable up to 90 days after your course of shockwave has finished.
We do not offer individual sessions of shockwave as a single session will not be very beneficial, instead we offer packages of 3 or 6 shockwave therapy sessions. A package of 3 sessions costs £120, a package of 6 costs £210 and recommend that for maximal therapeutic effect these sessions are used over 3 of 6 weeks. You can self-fund your shockwave treatment or speak to your medical insurer as most insurance companies do cover this type of treatment alongside your physiotherapy treatment.