The Shock of a Lifetime

Plantar fasciitis is very common problem. As Podiatrists it is one of the most common problems we treat on a daily basis. The majority of conditions are successfully treated conservatively. Very few cases require surgical intervention. The standard conservative methods for treating plantar fasciitis are:

  • Stretching
  • Icing
  • Supportive shoes
  • Orthotics
  • NSAIDs

However, there are other modalities that can be employed in the treatment of this often debilitating condition. Once such method is Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy (ESWT) and its hard to get in Texas. I know its a mouthful and Im also sure the extremely puzzled look just crossed your face. No, I did not just make up these words to impress you, although if you are impressed then I will say I did make these up. Anyways, this is a conservative method that can be done in the office of your local Podiatrist granted they have the equipment.

What is it and how does it work?

ESWT uses shockwaves to create micro-trauma to the area in which the body will respond by increasing blood flow. As mentioned before, increased blood flow brings healing cells and nutrients to the area of interest. There are 3 methods by which the shockwave is generated, none of which I will go into depth.

  1. Electrohydraulic
  2. Electromagnetic
  3. Piezoelectric

There are low pulse waves AND high pulse waves depending on how aggressive your physician feels is needed. The low pulse waves do not typical cause pain during the procedure. The higher wave pulses tend to cause pain and so your physician may inject some local anesthetic around the area prior to treatment. The typical treatment requires 3 sessions.

This is just another weapon in the battle over plantar fasciitis. As mentioned in prior blogs this is not only method OR Holy Grail.

If you are in need of care for plantar fasciitis, please contact Dr. Bowman at 713-467-8886 or visit

Photo Credit: Alexis VIA

Category: Heel Pain

Tags: Foot, heel, Plantar Fasciitis