Heel pain can be caused by a number of factors, but is usually the result of common conditions like plantar fasciitis, heel spurs, and Achilles tendonitis.
These conditions can often be debilitating, causing significant pain and discomfort, and limiting daily activities like walking.
Typical conservative treatments include things like massage, stretching and strengthening, heat and cold, taping and strapping, footwear modification and orthotic therapy.
While these treatment modalities are a great first place to start, they may not always be able to give you the result you’re after to get you out of pain, especially in moderate to severe cases.
Newcastle Heel Pain Clinic is a specialist clinic dedicated to the treatment of heel pain that is now utilising Extra-corporeal Shockwave Therapy (ESWT).
ESWT is a more modern treatment option that is available to treat almost all musculoskeletal problems in children and adults, however, the clinic is more specifically focusing on Achilles tendonitis, plantar fasciitis, heel spurs, shin splints and trigger points.
ESWT uses an evidence-based approach with clinically proven technology.
It works by utilising acoustic wave energy to produce mechanical pressure pulses. These pulses are applied to the painful area, producing a series of shockwaves that expand throughout the tissue. This stimulates a healing reaction by causing microscopic interstitial and extracellular biological effects, which results in tissue regeneration.
The shockwaves have an analgesic effect resulting in pain relief, and they also increase blood flow to the area to facilitate the repair process.
ESWT has been clinically proven, is fast and effective, with each treatment area usually only taking a few minutes to treat, requires no medication and is non-invasive, has no down time, and has no negative side effects.
People will usually require three to five treatment sessions, depending on the condition being treated, how severe it is and how long there’s been a problem.
People will usually feel relief from the first session, and will generally walk out in less pain than they walked in with, due to the shockwaves analgesic effect.
The treatment is usually only mildly uncomfortable, depending on how severe patients pain levels are to start with, however sessions should become more tolerable, the more treatments you have.
Before starting treatment, you will need an assessment from a health professional at Newcastle Heel Pain Clinic so that a diagnosis can be determined.
This is done by taking a thorough medical history, a full biomechanical assessment and musculoskeletal examination to determine if there is an underlying cause to the problem that will need to be treated.
A treatment plan can then be made for you including shockwave, and any other potential treatment modalities that may be beneficial in order to relieve pain as soon as possible.
If you feel like you have tried everything to treat your heel pain, and can’t seem to get any relief ESWT may be a good option for you.
As the plantar fascia and Achilles tendon are avascular structures, meaning they don’t have a lot of blood flow, they are very slow healing. ESWT can be a great adjunct therapy to speed up that healing process by bringing blood flow to the area.
If you are suffering from heel pain and your current treatment program is making slow progress, ESWT could be a great option to help speed up that recovery.