WHAT IS SHOCKWAVE THERAPY?
Shockwave Therapy is a treatment whereby a handheld probe is positioned over and moved around, the base of the heel/arch of the foot or Achilles Tendon at the back of the heel. The probe delivers very high-energy acoustic sound waves which expand as they travel inside the foot. These sound waves stimulate tissue regeneration, increase blood flow to the affected area and break down scar tissue. The process accelerates healing. This ultrasonic treatment is generally used in addition to other treatments to offer a long-term solution to plantar fasciitis.
WHAT DOES THE SHOCKWAVE ULTRASONIC TREATMENT FEEL LIKE?
As the shockwave therapy machine is used and the probe is moved around the heel there is an awareness of pressure and vibration around the affected area. The Podiatrist will commence treatment with the machine set to the lowest amount of pressure and will gradually increase this pressure as the heel becomes de-sensitised. The Podiatrist will drop the pressure down or cease the treatment immediately if the patient feels too much discomfort.
Within a minute or two, any painful areas become much more comfortable and the treatment is easily tolerated. After the treatment is finished there is a feeling of relief and patients will usually walk around the treatment room pain-free. The pain relief from Plantar Fasciitis and Achilles Tendonitis lasts for approximately 5 days, after which point the increase in blood flow slows down. The foot is then ready for another treatment.
HOW MANY TREATMENTS OF SHOCKWAVE THERAPY DO I NEED?
Most patients who are being treated for Plantar Fasciitis or Achilles Tendonitis / Tendinosis with shockwave therapy will usually have between 3 and 6 sessions. However, having one treatment only still helps due to the increase in blood flow.
HOW LONG DOES THE ELECTROTHERAPY TREATMENT TAKE?
A standard treatment will last for approximately 4 minutes, during which approximately 2000 waves are applied to the affected area. If there is more than one area of pain, as in patients with Plantar Fasciitis in both feet, the shockwave therapy will be applied twice, and the treatment will take closer to 10 minutes in total (4000 sound waves).
WHAT ARE THE SIDE EFFECTS OF SOUND WAVE THERAPY?
There are virtually no side effects reported from patients receiving shockwave therapy for Plantar Fasciitis. Very rarely there will be mild tingling, aching or some throbbing but these symptoms are very modest and short-lived
WHY IS SHOCKWAVE THERAPY NOT USED ALONE?
While some practitioners will use shockwave therapy as a stand-alone treatment, at Sydney Heel Pain Clinic the treatment plan includes measures that support the Achilles Tendon or the Plantar fascia and remove the causes of the pain as well. The shockwave therapy machine is used in addition to the treatment plan, for those patients who want immediate pain relief and a reduced recovery time.
CAN I CLAIM THE TREATMENT FROM MY PRIVATE HEALTH INSURANCE?
Patients being treated with shockwave therapy for Plantar Fasciitis or Achilles Tendonitis / Tendinosis are able to claim the appointment fees with their private health insurance company.