Shockwave treatment (or Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy), which is also known as ESWT, is a successful alternative treatment for many bone and soft tissue disorders in the foot and ankle. Extracorporeal simply means ‘outside the body’ and this type of treatment is typically used to treat various lower limb symptoms.
At Kann Foot Surgery we offer access to an excellent shockwave machine to deliver your treatment.
What Type of Conditions Does Shockwave Treatment Treat?
Mr. Kannegieter uses shockwave treatment for various painful conditions of the lower limbs, including:
Plantar Fasciitis – an acute or chronic, painful disorder of the plantar fascia that spans between the heel and the toes. It is the most common cause of heel pain and accounts for approximately 11-15% of foot symptoms presenting to physicians. The main symptom is pain in the heel pain, particularly in the morning or after a period of rest.
Achilles pain – this could be Insertional Achilles tendinopathy (IAT) or Non-Insertional Achilles tendinopathy (NIAT).
IAT – is a painful acute or chronic disorder of the Achilles tendon where it inserts onto the heel bone (calcaneus).
NIAT – is a painful disorder where there is a thickening of the Achilles tendon itself. The spot of maximum pain and painful swelling in NIAT is located 2 to 6 cm above the insertion into the heel.
How Does Shockwave Treatment Work?
Shock waves are movements of extremely high pressure caused by, for example, an explosion, an earthquake or a plane breaking the sound barrier. Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy (ESWT) is the application of shock waves in medicine to reduce pain.
It is clinically proven that pressure waves, when applied to injured tissues, stimulate metabolic reactions.
• Reduction of pain felt by nerve fibres
• Increase of blood circulation in surrounding soft tissues
• Beginning of healing process triggered by stem cells activation
Are There Risks or Side-Effects Following Shockwave Treatment?
As with any medical procedure, there are risks which Mr. Kannegieter will always thoroughly explain to you prior to your treatment, so you can be informed every step of the way.
However, when performed properly by a qualified practitioner like Mr. Kannegieter, ESWT has only minimal risks. These are:
• Pain and discomfort during and after treatment (anesthesia is not necessary)
• Reddening of the skin
• Swelling and numbness of the skin over the treatment area
These device-related non-serious adverse events usually disappear within 36h after the treatment.
Unfortunately, we cannot use ESWT in the following conditions:
• On pre-ruptured tendons
• If you are pregnant
• If you have a blood-clotting disorder (including local thrombosis)
• If you are taking oral anticoagulants
• If you have a tumor or local bacterial infection in the area of treatment
• If you have had a cortisone injection to the area in the last 3 months
To read more about the state of the art EMS machine and shockwave treatment please click here.
Mr. Kannegieter has also put together this useful PDF explaining shockwave treatment which you can download here.