What is shock wave therapy?
Extracorporeal shock wave therapy basically refers to the application of shock waves to the body tissues. High energy acoustic waves are applied to the tissues, which exert a mechanical force and lead to the treatment of a number of musculoskeletal conditions including plantar fasciitis.
Abrupt, high amplitude pulses are used for the purpose. It is a noninvasive technique which was approved by the FDA back in 2000 as a treatment for plantar fasciitis.
What can be expected when a patient has shock wave therapy?
The procedure is done in the outpatient setting and performed under local anesthesia. It takes about 30 minutes. Following the procedure, the patient is able to walk with ease. However, a thumping feeling on the heel is experienced.
It needs to be remembered that ice packs and anti-inflammatory drugs are not to be used after the procedure.
Effectiveness of shock wave therapy for plantar fasciitis
The results of shock wave therapy have been rather promising as a whole. However, there have been some reports which state that the effectiveness is not at par with expectations. There are some cases in which the therapy might not be as effective and an alternative therapy would have to be used.
The feature of the therapy that is most appealing to people is that it is noninvasive. Thus, there are no significant side effects or complications that one would have to be worried about before going through with the procedure. You would not have to be worried about the after effects of surgery such as a wound infection and so on.
The only issue that you will have to keep in mind is that the therapy would not always be effective in enabling you to get rid of the symptoms. It is highly probable that you will not attain any relief.
Recovery time of extracorporeal shock wave therapy
The feet of patients tend to feel heavy after the treatment. They are, thus, advised to restrict physical activity for around 1 to 2 weeks following the therapy.
Some potential complications that might incur include the likes of pain and hypersensitivity around the region. However, there is nothing to be alarmed about as they tend to resolve with time. Pain and disability might not be cured if the therapy is unsuccessful.
This is one area which might be a problem for some. The therapy is rather expensive. Considering that the effectiveness of the treatment is controversial and there is always a chance that it will not bring you your desired results, the price is something that you will have to think about.
Occasionally, there are some insurance policies which cover the costs of the therapy. You should know more about these policies before you get the treatment done.
It is essential that you take all the factors into consideration before arriving at a decision as to whether this is indeed the therapy that you want to opt for or not.