Extracorporeal shockwave therapy (ESWT) refers to a non-surgical technique that involves applying high-energy radial “shockwaves” directly into the injury or affected area. Its specific mechanism of action in treating musculoskeletal conditions has yet to be fully understood.
However, research suggests that its therapeutic effect comes from short shockwave pulses that create micro cavitation bubbles that can penetrate the affected tissues. This, in turn, stimulates interstitial and extracellular responses that lead to tissue healing and regeneration.
Besides tissue repair, the acoustic waves can also bring other therapeutic effects to the body that can increase healing and recovery. This includes:
Furthermore, studies have found shockwave therapy a safe and effective treatment option for people suffering from chronic musculoskeletal conditions. In fact, it was shown to have a 65% to 91% effectiveness in managing such conditions with little to no complications.
Not all foot and ankle disorders and injuries need surgical intervention right away. Most conditions may be successfully treated using traditional, non-invasive methods, such as RICE therapy, pain killing medications, and orthotic devices.
If these techniques cease to work or your condition is in the chronic stage, our podiatrist may recommend you to undergo shockwave therapy. Some of the most common conditions treated using this method include:
Muscle injuries in the foot and ankle are common among athletes and those with an active lifestyle. These muscular conditions range from simple ones like painful trigger points to moderate injuries like foot or ankle muscle strain.
Fortunately, shockwave therapy can restore your mobility by relieving the pain caused by the injured muscle group. It can also help enhance tissue repair and healing, allowing you to quickly recover and return safely to your daily activities.
Podiatrists and physiotherapists use shockwave therapy to treat chronic tendon conditions that don’t get better with traditional treatment methods. Some examples of foot and ankle tissue injuries that can be treated using ESWT include:
Once the shock wave reaches the affected area, the body will respond by activating an inflammatory response and increasing the metabolic activity in the target area. This promotes the healing of dysfunctional collagenous tissue, breaks down scar tissue, and decreases pain sensation by inhibiting nociceptors.
Additionally, ESWT can break down or dissolve calcified deposits that may be found in some chronic conditions, such as plantar fasciitis.
Physical trauma, overuse, and repetitive strain can cause damage to the different bone structures found in the foot and ankle area. This may include an ankle fracture or dislocation and a stress fracture in the metatarsals.
Of course, such injuries should be treated right away using closed reduction or repositioning to achieve immediate relief. Severe conditions may also require surgical interventions.
However, studies suggest that shockwave therapy has been an effective adjuvant therapy for bone injuries, specifically fresh fractures. This means that after your initial treatment (e.g., surgery, closed reduction), undergoing shockwave therapy in Miami can help accelerate your healing and prevent further damage or complications.
Generally, only a qualified doctor or podiatrist can perform shockwave therapy on a patient. It is also important to note that this technique is usually recommended as part of a comprehensive treatment plan. Therefore, ESWT works better in combination with other treatment modalities.
Miami shockwave therapy is performed using a radial shockwave therapy device. It has a handheld applicator, which will be placed directly into the affected area.
The number of shockwaves and the duration of the therapy will depend on the severity of the condition. Generally, a single treatment session only takes about four to five minutes. You’ll be prescribed to undergo shockwave therapy once a week for 4-7 weeks, depending on your foot and ankle injury.
Most patients do not feel immediate pain; however, you may feel discomfort two to three hours after the treatment. The procedure will trigger the body’s inflammatory response as part of its healing mechanism. So, it’s normal to experience temporary swelling and soreness for a few days after the therapy.
Foot and ankle conditions should not be taken lightly. So if you’re experiencing prolonged discomfort, then it’s high time to look for a podiatric expert that can help bring your quality life back.
If you are interested in shockwave therapy, then visit our foot and ankle clinic located in Coral Gables.
At Florida Foot and Ankle Associates, we aim to provide the highest quality of patient care, treatment services, and injury management and prevention. We strive hard to provide each client with a comprehensive plan of care so they can get immediate relief with long-term benefits.
Some of the services we provide and practice we specialize in include the following:
Contact us now at 786-662-3893 to get in touch with our podiatric surgeons. You can also visit one of our many offices or click here to find the doctor’s office closest to you!
The material contained on this site is for informational purposes only and DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PROVIDING OF MEDICAL ADVICE, and is not intended to be a substitute for independent professional medical judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health.