Plantar fasciitis is a painful condition when the plantar fascia under the sole of your foot becomes inflamed and the pain unbearable. Too much strain on the feet every day can lead to this condition, making life difficult and uncomfortable while on your feet.
You can treat plantar fasciitis at home in some cases with rest, ice, and over-the-counter medications — but what if that's not enough for long-term relief?
Shock wave therapy is an option that works for plantar fasciitis when other conservative measures aren't successful at relieving pain.
Dr. Jeffrey E. McAlister and the team at Phoenix Foot and Ankle Institute offer cutting-edge technologies like Radial Shockwave Therapy at their practice in Phoenix and Scottsdale, Arizona.
Dr. McAlister is a board-certified foot and ankle specialist who evaluates the need for more invasive treatment options when plantar fasciitis affects your daily activities.
What is plantar fasciitis?
The plantar fascia is a tough, fibrous piece of tissue under each of your feet. The stretchy ligament-like band runs from the toes to the heel and creates the arch in the foot.
Plantar fasciitis is a common overuse injury that leads to pain and inflammation in the plantar fascia. Symptoms of plantar fasciitis vary but usually include the following:
- Heel pain
- Achilles tendon tightness
- A dull ache or sharp pain
The pain of plantar fasciitis is typically worse first thing in the morning or after getting up from sitting for an extended period. Sometimes, the pain gets better during exercise but typically worsens again when you stop.
Plantar fasciitis is an overuse injury that happens when you're on your feet all day long or are exercising on hard surfaces without the proper support. Forgetting to warm up before a workout and walking barefoot also contribute to plantar fasciitis.
The facts on shockwave therapy
At Phoenix Foot and Ankle Institute, Dr. McAlister offers Radial Shockwave Therapy for plantar fasciitis pain that doesn't get better with conservative measures.
Shockwave therapy is a noninvasive treatment option that utilizes acoustic energy to induce microtrauma in the tissues. The small areas of trauma prompt your body to generate its healing factors, which helps reduce pain by:
- Eliminating tissue calcifications
- Reducing pain through nerve hyperstimulation
- Increasing blood flow to the painful tissues
- Opening the cells to healing factors
For plantar fasciitis, shockwave therapy significantly reduces inflammation and thickness around the plantar fascia.
Shockwave therapy is a fast and effective treatment for plantar fasciitis that usually requires one treatment a week for up to five weeks. It's relatively comfortable and doesn't require long-term downtime.
What to expect during therapy
If you qualify for shockwave therapy, Dr. McAlister tells you what to expect before your first appointment. You don't need anesthesia or sedation with Radial Shockwave Therapy, so you don't need to bring a driver.
At your appointment, we bring you into the treatment room and have you lie face down on a table with your socks off. We rest your feet on a pillow so you're comfortable.
Dr. McAlister applies ultrasound gel to the bottom of your foot and moves the shockwave wand around the area of pain. The energy from the wand helps to break up scar tissue and reduce inflammation to improve pain.
You may have some minor discomfort during the procedure, but it won't last more than a day or two after treatment. The advantage of Radial Shockwave Therapy is you can go back to your normal activities on the same day.
Most people require more than one treatment, which we give at least a week apart from the previous treatment. Many people experience significant relief with the treatment, and it may prevent the need for surgery.
To find out if shockwave therapy is an option for you, call Phoenix Foot and Ankle Institute today at 602-761-7819 to schedule a consultation with Dr. McAlister, or request an appointment using our online booking tool.