Author: alien

Treating Plantar Fasciitis With Shockwave Therapy

Plantar fasciitis is an ailment involving the plantar fascia, the ligament which supports the arch of the foot and connects the toes to the heel. When the plantar fascia is strained, it develops microscopic tears which cause swelling and pain. Plantar fasciitis is most common in people who:

  • Spend a great deal of time on their feet
  • Tend to roll their feet inward when they walk
  • Have very high aches or very flat feet
  • Are overweight.
  • Wear ill-fitting or worn out shoes
  • Run a great deal
  • Have legs of unequal length

The most pronounced symptom of plantar fasciitis is sharp, stabbing pain, which may be nearly unbearable when getting out of bed, or when first standing up after sitting for long periods. This pain usually subsides to some degree after a few steps. Other symptoms that some report include:

  • Stiffness
  • Swelling
  • Tingling and numbness

If left unaddressed, the symptoms and underlying issues will continue to worsen, ultimately causing the rupture of the fascia, which is usually accompanied by a great deal of swelling, acute pain in the sole, and popping or clicking sound.

Shockwave Therapy Treatment

Plantar fasciitis, like many common injuries to the feet and ankles, involves the inflammation and tearing of soft tissue, in this case the plantar fascia. Quite commonly, injuries of this type can be effectively treated with shockwave therapy (ESWT).

Shockwave therapy is a non-surgical, non-invasive treatment methodology which uses focused acoustic waves to massage and stimulate injured tissues, improving blood flow and nerve growth, reducing swelling, and stimulating natural healing processes. Within one to two sessions, patients with plantar fasciitis often report significant improvements in pain.

Continued treatments further reduce swelling and irritation, giving the fascia the opportunity it needs to heal. After the complete treatment regimen, most patients report that all or nearly all of their pain is gone.

MYOSYTETM’s shockwave therapy is an FDA-cleared treatment shown to be effective in treating plantar fasciitis and other inflammatory disorders of the feet and ankles. Thanks to its non-invasive nature, ESWT does not carry the risks surgery, painkillers, and other common forms of treatment carry.

Other therapies, such as pulsed electromagnetic field therapy (PEMFT) and laser therapy are also sometimes used to treat plantar fasciitis and other ailments of the feet and ankles.

Treating Metatarsalgia With Shockwave Therapy

Metatarsalgia, occasionally referred to as stone bruise, is a catchall term for a number of disorders which share a single symptom: pain in the ball of the foot.

One of the more common forms of metatarsalgia is Morton’s Neuroma. During periods of physical activity, the five metatarsal bones in the foot will exert pressure on one another. Over time, this can cause a thickening of the tissue between the bones, compressing the nerve and resulting in pain and discomfort.

However, this is just one of many causes of metatarsalgia. As a result, there are many common causes of the disorder, including:

  • Prolonged, repeated periods of physical activity
  • Wearing tight shoes or high heels
  • Stress fractures in the metatarsals
  • Being overweight
  • High arches or long second toes, which put more weight on the metatarsals
  • Age, due to the fact that over time the tissue that pads the bones thins
  • Metatarsalgia can also be caused by a host of medical conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis, gout, bunions, fluid buildup, and diabetes.

Shockwave Therapy Treatment

Many forms of metatarsalgia involve the inflammation of soft tissue in the ball of the foot. Injuries of this nature are ideal candidates for treatment with shockwave therapy (ESWT).

Shockwave therapy is a non-surgical treatment methodology which uses acoustic waves to stimulate the affected tissues, which encourages the reduction of swelling, increases blood flow, and kick-starts the body’s healing processes.

Within the first or second session, many patients report a noticeable reduction in pain. Additional treatments produce further pain reduction, as well as a reduction in swelling, which gives the ball of the foot time to heal, ultimately resulting in a complete or near-complete elimination of this painful condition.

Our shockwave therapy treatment system is an FDA-cleared approach which has been shown in studies to effectively treat common metatarsalgia and other common sources of foot pain. Thanks to its non-surgical, non-invasive nature, ESWT does not carry the risks that are inherent to other common treatment modes, such as surgery or relying on potentially addictive painkillers.

Some cases of metatarsalgia may also respond to other forms of treatment, such as laser therapy and magnetic field therapy (PEMFT).

Treating Jumper’s Knee With Shockwave Therapy

Patellar tendonitis, commonly known as Jumper’s Knee, is an injury to the patellar tendon, which connects the kneecap to the tibia and allows the quadriceps muscle in the thigh to pull the knee up, a movement extremely important for running, kicking, and jumping.

The injury is known as Jumper’s Knee due to its commonness in those who play sports involving a great deal of jumping, such as basketball, volleyball, soccer, and gymnastics. However, it’s also common in all types of physically active people.

The most common symptom of patellar tendonitis is pain behind the kneecap, and/or the point at which the tendon anchors to the tibia. Typically, this pain is most evident during periods of physical exertion. However, over time this pain will worsen to the point where it’s constant, and affects the ability to perform even everyday activities and movements.

Jumper’s Knee usually involves relatively minor swelling and microtearing of the patellar tendon. But if the issue isn’t addressed, the injury may become progressively worse, until the tendon finally tears completely.

Treating Jumper’s Knee with Shockwave Therapy

Patellar tendonitis involves damage to soft tissue through overuse and exertion. Because of the type of injury involved, Jumper’s Knee is a prime candidate for treatment with shockwave therapy (ESWT). ESWT is a non-invasive treatment which uses high-energy acoustic waves to stimulate injured soft tissues. This treatment encourages the growth of new nerves and blood vessels in targeted areas, and stimulates the body’s natural healing processes.

MYOSYTETM’s shockwave therapy treatment regimen is FDA-cleared and shown to be effective in treating Jumper’s Knee and other tendonitis-related ailments. Thanks to its non-invasive nature, shockwave therapy is often preferable to other modes of treatment, such as surgery or the use of potentially habit-forming painkillers.

While the reasons for shockwave therapy’s effectiveness are currently not comprehensively understood, several studies have demonstrated its effectiveness in eliminating tendonitis-related pain and its underlying causes.

Other forms of therapy, such as pulsed magnetic field therapy (PEMFT) and laser therapy may also be effective in treating Jumper’s Knee and related disorders.

How Shockwave Therapy Can Help With Plantar Faciitis

Plantar fasciitis is a common ailment, affecting over 2 million people in the United States alone, as reported by the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Those with plantar fasciitis tend to experience regular, sharp pains in their heel, especially after long periods of inactivity (i.e. after a long night’s sleep or when getting up from a seated position after being off of their feet for hours). This pain may fade as they walk around and use the affected foot, but it’s a consistent problem that reappears on a regular basis and makes it difficult to carry out daily routines. There are numerous treatment options available for plantar fasciitis varying from simple pain medications like Ibuprofen or Acetaminophen to surgically detaching the plantar fascia from the heel bone. However, even if your case is severe enough to consider such drastic surgery, there may be another alternative available for you called Shockwave Therapy.

What is Plantar Fasciitis and How is it Diagnosed?

Plantar fasciitis describes the painful inflammation of a stretch of tissue on the bottom of your foot that connects your heel bone to the ball of your foot and toes. That inflammation makes it difficult to walk or flex your foot without experiencing sharp, stabbing pain throughout the arch of your foot and impedes your ability to complete menial tasks.

Generally speaking, the condition is diagnosed by determining where your pain is, what kinds of activities or at which times you notice the pain flaring up, and if things like massages or continued activity seem to alleviate said pain. If you’re answering that the pain tends to flare whenever you first get up in the morning or when standing up after being seated for a long period of time, chances are high you’ll be told you have plantar fasciitis.

What Kinds of Factors Increase Your Risk for Plantar Fasciitis?

While there is no known specific cause of this condition, there are several related factors or conditions that may contribute to how quickly you develop plantar fasciitis and increase the frequency of the pain. Such factors may include:

  • Obesity
  • Shoes without proper arch supports
  • Having an unusually high arch and not using inserts
  • Long periods of stationary standing time
  • Running too often or engaging in other high-impact sports or exercises
  • General overuse of your feet from walking, standing, running, etc.

Granted, moderate to regular amounts of exercise with proper arch supports should not cause plantar fasciitis or contribute to it becoming chronic. On the contrary, routine exercise with supportive shoes should help keep that band of tissue properly flexible without overworking it or inflaming it.

What if Pain Medications, Therapy, and Massages Don’t Work?

The pain caused by plantar fasciitis can be stubborn and intense. For many, over the counter pain medications, icing the area, and gentle massaging may be enough to alleviate the pain in the beginning stages, but as it’s left untreated and the pain becomes more frequent, most find that such simple methods cease to make a difference. Therapy is often recommended for those experiencing moderate to severe pain, especially if the next available option is surgery.

If none of the above options work, your doctor may recommend surgery to detach the inflamed tissue from your heel bone, thereby relieving the tension in your foot and preventing further inflammation. However, this procedure carries its own set of risks (though it is successful for many), and there’s still a viable option available to you called Shockwave Therapy.

What is Shockwave Therapy?

Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy (ESWT) is a method of pain relief that involves sending gentle waves of energy into an affected area from the outside (hence “extracorporeal” – outside of the body) to quickly and effectively relieve pain. These energy waves help improve blood flow to the affected area, increasing the number of healing components available (such as platelets) to repair microscopic tears in the fascia or tend to inflammation.

As the treatment is applied from outside of the body, ESWT is a noninvasive alternative to surgery, which can have a range of damaging side effects that actually wind up weakening your foot instead of improving its condition. ESWT is also the only FDA-approved noninvasive treatment device for plantar fasciitis, has little to no downtime, and has had more impressive results than most other treatment options for this condition.

How Does ESWT Work?

Because the underside of your foot–specifically your heel–tends to get less blood flow than the rest of your body, fewer healing components are available to repair damages or improve the condition of the area, meaning that injuries or trauma take significantly longer to heal. Using the energy of sound waves, ESWT can dramatically stimulate blood flow to the application area, increasing the heel’s supply of platelets and other reparative properties within your blood.

The application process itself involves using a probe to send those energy waves into your skin (without being invasive). Your doctor will mark the most tender spots on your heel with a marker, indicating the inflamed area that needs to be treated. They will then apply a protective, conductive gel to your skin to maximize the effectiveness of the sound waves, followed by the actual shockwave treatment of the fascia with the probe by touching it to your skin. The shockwave itself is audible and tangible, but quick and easy. After treatment, your doctor will clean any gel off of your foot and see how you’re responding to the shockwave treatment.

All in all, the procedure should not take longer than 20 minutes and should yield immediate and effective results! Typically, more than one treatment spaced apart by a few weeks is necessary (the average number of treatments is 4), but many patients find that one treatment is enough to improve their condition for quite a while. So, before you commit to any invasive surgeries or permanently altering procedures that carry risk of further damage, consider asking your doctor about Shockwave Therapy to see if you may be a candidate. The treatment is significantly safer than surgery and often just as effective, if not more.