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Shockwave therapy for plantar fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis can be a frustrating and debilitating condition accompanied by persistent pain. But there’s hope. Shockwave therapy is a non-invasive and innovative treatment that has shown significant promise in relieving plantar fasciitis-related pain. If you’re seeking a way to regain your mobility and bid farewell to that stabbing heel discomfort, read on to discover how shockwave therapy for plantar fasciitis might be the answer you’ve been searching for.

What is Plantar Fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis, also known as fasciopathy, is a common foot condition characterised by pain and inflammation in the plantar fascia.

The plantar fascia is a thick band of tissue that runs across the bottom of your foot, connecting your calcaneus (heel bone) to your toes. It forms the arch of the foot and acts as a shock absorber during activities like walking and running.

The primary function of the plantar fascia is to support the arch of the foot and provide stability during weight-bearing activities. It helps to distribute the body’s weight across the foot and absorbs the impact of walking, running, and other activities.

This condition often causes stabbing pain near the heel, particularly during the first steps in the morning or after periods of rest.

Plantar fasciitis pain often develops gradually over time rather than suddenly. You may not recall a specific injury or event that triggered the pain but instead notice a gradual increase in discomfort, particularly after engaging in activities that stress the foot.

What Causes Plantar Fasciitis?

Several factors contribute to the development of plantar fasciitis, including:

Age and Foot Mechanics

As we age, the plantar fascia can lose elasticity, making it more susceptible to injury. Additionally, issues with foot mechanics, such as flat feet or high arches, can contribute to strain on the plantar fascia.

Improper Footwear

Wearing shoes with inadequate support or an improper fit can increase the risk of developing plantar fasciitis.

Overuse or High-Impact Activities

Activities that involve prolonged standing, walking, or running on hard surfaces can strain the plantar fascia, leading to inflammation and pain.

Weight Gain

Excess weight puts additional stress on the plantar fascia, increasing the likelihood of developing plantar fasciitis.

Diagnosing plantar fasciitis often involves a physical examination by a healthcare professional. They may assess your medical history, and symptoms, and perform tests such as the “windlass test,” which involves dorsiflexing the toes to stretch the plantar fascia.

If you’ve tried alternative treatments for plantar fasciitis without success and are searching for a solution that truly works, your doctor may advise you to undergo a number of shockwave therapy sessions.

What Is Shockwave Therapy For Plantar Fasciitis?

Shockwave therapy, or extracorporeal shockwave therapy (ESWT), is a non-invasive and effective treatment for plantar fasciitis. This innovative approach involves using acoustic waves to stimulate healing and reduce pain in the affected area.

Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy For Plantar Fasciitis

“Extracorporeal” means the treatment happens outside the body.

How It Works

During a shockwave therapy session, high-energy acoustic waves are directed at the heel and sole of the foot. These waves stimulate blood flow, enhance tissue repair, and reduce inflammation, promoting the natural healing process.

Painless Procedure

Shockwave therapy is generally well-tolerated and doesn’t require anesthesia. Patients may experience a tingling sensation during the procedure, but it is not typically painful.


Numerous studies have shown the efficacy of shockwave therapy in treating plantar fasciitis. A study published in the Journal of Orthopaedic Research found that shockwave therapy significantly improved pain and function in patients with chronic plantar fasciitis.

The procedure is generally well-tolerated and doesn’t require anesthesia. Patients may feel a tingling sensation or mild discomfort, but it’s usually not painful.

How Many Sessions Of Shockwave Therapy For Plantar Fasciitis Do I Need?

The number of shockwave therapy sessions needed varies from person to person. Most individuals experience positive results after approximately three to five sessions.

Sessions are typically spaced a week apart to allow for optimal healing between treatments.

Patients often notice a gradual reduction in pain and improved mobility after each session. It’s essential to follow the recommended treatment plan for the best results.

Is There At-Home Shockwave Therapy For Plantar Fasciitis?

While professional shockwave therapy is conducted in a clinical setting, at-home devices are available. However, the effectiveness of these devices may vary. It’s crucial to consult with a healthcare professional before attempting any at-home treatment.

Caution: At-home devices may not provide the same level of precision and expertise as professional treatments. It’s essential to use them under the guidance of a healthcare provider, usually a podiatrist or a physiotherapist, to avoid potential risks.

In conclusion, shockwave therapy for plantar fasciitis is a promising treatment option for individuals who haven’t found relief with alternative methods.

Get in touch with our team to find out if shockwave therapy is the right choice for you and to develop a personalized treatment plan based on your specific needs.

physiotherapy for osteoarthritis

How Physiotherapy Can Help with Osteoarthritis?

Have you ever felt stiffness in your joints which usually happens when you wake up in the morning and lasts up to half an hour? Maybe you’ve heard your knees, hips or other joints make a grating or crackling sound when you move. Or, perhaps, your joints are swollen and tender with pain, and the pain only gets worse as you use them. If you find yourself struggling with such discomforts, then you may be suffering from osteoarthritis. Physiotherapy for osteoarthritis can be the perfect treatment to ease down your pain and make your life as pleasant as possible.

What is Osteoarthritis?

Osteoarthritis is a medical condition which causes stiffness and pain in the joints. Although it is the most common form of arthritis, osteoarthritis is just one of around one hundred types of arthritic conditions. Most people experience some form of this condition by the time they reach seventy – for instance – osteoarthritis of the hip, osteoarthritis of the spine or knee osteoarthritis. A less known fact is that osteoarthritis is typically a degenerative joint disease. It occurs when the protective tissue within joints wears down over time and the risk of developing it increases with age.

How Does Osteoarthritis Happen?

Inside the joints, there is a protective tissue called “cartilage”. Cartilage cushions the joint and prevents the bones from rubbing against each other. During usual daily activities, joints suffer from a continuous low level of damage. Our bodies have an inherent capacity to repair the damage itself and, therefore, we don’t experience any symptoms most of the time. However, in osteoarthritis, the cartilage on the ends of the bones breaks down and causes pain, swelling, and problems moving the joint. Sometimes, this condition can also affect nearby bones, causing bony growths called bone spurs or osteophytes.

Risk Factors for Osteoarthritis

Even though age seems to be a leading reason for osteoarthritis, not all people’s joints wear down to the degree that requires clinical treatment as people get older. Additional risk factors that can contribute to osteoarthritis are:

  • Genetics
  • Obesity, especially for knee osteoarthritis
  • Sports-related and other joint injuries caused by repeated movements or overuse.
  • Repeated bleeding into the joints
  • Long-lasting inflammation caused by previous rheumatic illness
  • Metabolic disorders.

With specialised mechanical exercises and heat therapeutic treatments, physiotherapy for osteoarthritis can significantly improve the disease symptoms and provide you with a pain-free life.

What Are the Symptoms of Osteoarthritis?

Half of the people who experience typical usual osteoarthritic symptoms are not aware they have it. Symptoms can range from mild to severe and can vary depending on which joint is affected – knees, hips, small joint of the hands, feet or spine.

People with osteoarthritis often have:

  • Limited flexibility
  • Pain related to change of weather
  • Bony lumps at the end or on the middle of joints of fingers
  • Numbness or tingling in an arm or leg.

Pain usually increases with movement and settles with rest. As the condition worsens and the pain becomes more constant and severe, it may make it difficult for the patient to carry out everyday activities.

What Can You Do if You Have Osteoarthritis?

Osteoarthritis is a long-term condition that can’t be fully cured. But if you are disciplined and regularly follow advice from a licensed physiotherapist, you can manage the pain and maintain the ability to use the affected joints.

Depending on the severity of the condition, symptoms can be reduced with:

  • Regular exercise programs
  • Losing weight
  • Wearing appropriate footwear  
  • Using special devices to reduce joint strain

If your symptoms are more severe, you may need painkillers and an exercise plan supervised by a physiotherapist. Some extreme cases of inflammation require that your doctor removes fluid from the joint and inject it with corticosteroids. This treatment should be applied only if indispensable, as overusing this type of drugs can further damage the joints.

When none of the above is helping, surgery may be the best option to repair, strengthen or replace the damaged joint.

How Can Physiotherapy Help with Osteoarthritis?

If you are looking for natural ways to keep osteoarthritis under control, physiotherapy may be your best answer. It is very effective even with severely damaged joints when supervised by a trained physiotherapist who has knowledge of osteoarthritis.

Once a physio specialist assesses your condition thoroughly with a series of tests and possibly X-ray, they will work together with you to establish the best treatment plan. This plan may include a variety of therapies such as:

  • Remedial Massage
  • Stretching
  • Passive joint mobilisation
  • Osteoarthritis exercise program
  • Diet and weight management
  • Hydrotherapy
  • Electrotherapy
  • Acupuncture or dry needling.

These therapies aim to reduce pain, as well as stretch and strengthen muscles surrounding the affected joints. You will improve the range of movement, which will allow you to take control of your condition and to perform daily functions with less disruption.

Long-term Positive Effects of Physiotherapy for Osteoarthritis

Once you have regained function and your pain is under control, you will probably need to initiate some type of home exercise program to maintain the achieved results and reduce future flare-ups.

If you are like most people and lack discipline, you will probably stop exercising as soon as your pain decreases or as your joints become somewhat functional. However, your next flare-up will make you start the same process all over again. Such cycles can cause even more damage, which is why maintenance physiotherapy visit every 4 to 6 weeks is the best way of keeping the condition under control.

During these visits, the physiotherapist will not only work with you on the existing maintenance plan, but they will also have an opportunity to review the prescribed exercises and decide whether to modify or reinforce them. This way, they will help you control any future flare-ups and save you money on any other medical interventions that you may need to endure in case of acute flare-ups.

Since there are long waiting lists to obtain maintenance physiotherapy treatments in public facilities, private physiotherapy clinics can be an excellent option.

Whatever option you choose, you will be making a good decision, as research indicates that even severe osteoarthritis can improve with physiotherapy. Keeping the condition under control with maintenance physiotherapy is a great solution to reduce any progressive long-term damage.

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