Mill Creek Podiatry & Orthoics Logo

Shockwave Therapy

Shockwave Therapy is a revolutionary new technology which provides non-surgical treatment for many conditions that historically could only be resolved through surgical intervention.

A revolutionary treatment for painless mobility!

Shockwave Therapy promotes healing of degenerated or injured tissue leading to reduced pain and an increase in joint function.

Shockwave Therapy is clinically proven to be effective in resolving and treating a wide variety of medical conditions, improving the quality of your life.

“Until taking shockwave therapy, I was in denial and kept trying to play tennis without moving much. Pathetic. I’ve had 3 sessions of five-minute Shockwave therapy, and now it’s only age and geriatric deterioration that slows down my running game, not the curse of plantar fasciitis. – Peter Worthington, Toronto Sun, October 2007”

What conditions can be treated?

Shockwave Therapy can be used to treat a wide variety of musculoskeletal conditions, in particular, those involving areas where major connective tissue attaches to bone. Common sites that can be successfully treated are:

  • Foot – plantar fasciitis & Achilles tendonitis
  • Knee – patellar tendinitis & shin pain
  • Hip – trochanteric brusitis
  • Muscles – various trigger points throughout body

What are the Advantages?

Shockwave therapy is a recent development that is used successfully by healthcare providers that specialize in musculoskeletal disorders. As compared to other treatment methods, the advantages are:

  • Quickly reduces pain
  • No medication is needed
  • Avoids surgery
  • No side effects
  • No risk of allergies
  • Accelerates healing
  • Effective for chronic conditions

How does Shockwave Work?

Shockwaves accelerate the healing process by activating the body-s self-healing powers, particularly in cases where the body has been unable to do it on its’ own. It stimulates metabolism and enhances blood circulation which enables damaged tissue to regenerate and eventually heal.

Your therapist will apply shockwaves through a specially designed handpiece that produces strong energy pulses for short periods of time. The shock-wave energy pulses are applied directly to the affected tissue areas in a controlled procedure.

Shockwaves have a mechanical effect on the tissue. Pressure in front of the shockwave is transmitted into the tissue, creating microcavitation bubbles that expand and burst in a resultant force.

This force penetrates tissue and stimulates cells in the body which are responsible for bone (osteoblast) and connective tissue (fibroblast) healing.

Research has also shown that Shockwave also breaks down calcium deposits.

What is the Success Rate?

After only 2-3 sessions, over 80% of patients report a significant reduction in pain.

  • 90% improvement for plantar fasciitis (Journal of Orthopaedics Research 2005)
  • 91% improvement for calcific tendonitis (Journal of American Medical Association 2003)

How long does the treatment last?

The therapy session takes about 10-15 minutes depending on the disorder that is treated. In general, 3-5 sessions are necessary at weekly intervals.

Ask your doctor if your condition can be treated by Shockwave Therapy and book your treatment sessions today!

What is Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy?

ESWT is a fast and gentle non-surgical method of reducing heel pain. It is derived from lithotripsy, a technique used today to disintegrate kidney stones without the use of invasive surgery. The EMS Swiss DolorClast device delivers pneumatically-generated high pressure shock waves that travel through the skin. Inflamed soft tissue and bone calcifications that receive these high energy pulses will heal stronger without any harm to the surrounding tissue. Electricity is not sent into the body. High energy pulsations of ultrasonic waves stimulate the body’s natural self-healing process.

What are the symptoms of heel pain?

The most common cause of heel pain is plantar fasciitis. The main sign of plantar fasciitis is pain or stiffness on the bottom of the heel when first standing. The pain is often in the bottom inside edge of the heel, but can occur anywhere. The plantar fascia attaches to the heel. Patients often report that the pain moves around to different areas and can range from a dull ache to a debilitating sharp pain. The condition may come and go or be persistent for many months to years.

What is plantar fascia?

The plantar fascia is a thick fibrous band that supports the arch of the foot. It extends as a bowstring from the heel to the ball of the foot.

Why does plantar fasciitis develop?

The plantar fascia is relatively inelastic and does not stretch very well. Increased tension and overuse causes pulling and irritation at its attachment to the heel. This will occur most often in people who have structural problems with their feet, such as high arches or flat feet. Overuse of your feet, such as with those who are required to work long hours walking or standing on hard surfaces, are more likely to suffer from heel pain. Overuse associated with sports such as running, racquet sports and golf may increase your chance of developing heel pain. Weight gain and tight muscles contribute to the tension in the plantar fascia and make you more prone to its irritation. As well, improper shoe gear can encourage poor foot alignment and contribute to heel pain.

What are heel spurs?

Long-standing irritation can cause formation of calcium deposits at the point where the plantar fascia inserts into the heel bone. The result is the appearance of a heel spur on an x- ray. The spur itself is not the cause of the pain.The terms heel spur syndrome and plantar fasciitis are often used interchangeably in medicine,and the cause and treatment for the conditions are the same.

What is Achilles tendinitis?

The Achilles tendon is the major tendon that attaches the large calf muscle to the heel bone. The back of the heel is the second most common location for heel pain.

Achilles tendonitis occurs as pain and inflammation at the insertion of the Achilles tendon. It may also occur as a bursitis often associated with a “pump bump”, or Haglund’s deformity.
A palpable soreness or bump may be present on either side of the insertion of the tendon. X-rays will often show spurring and calcification in the tendon.

Treatment is aimed at reducing the pressure and inflammation to the area with heel cups, orthotics, medication and physiotherapy. Corticosteroid injections are not recommended.ESWT has been shown to be a highly effective surgical alternative in the treatment of insertional Achilles tendinitis.

When should I seek medical advice for my heel pain?

Any time you experience pain that persists and is interfering with your ability to enjoy daily activities, you should have your foot examined by a podiatrist.

What treatments are available for heel pain?

The majority of patients who develop heel pain will improve significantly in a short time with a combination of the following conservative treatments.

  1. Controlling the position of the foot through: proper shoe gear taping the foot heel pad night splints custom orthotics or arch supports
  2. Reducing inflammation through: rest ice anti-inflammatory medication injection of corticosteroid medication acupuncture, massage ultrasound and physiotherapy
  3. Achieving and maintaining flexibility with: stretching range of motion exercises.

Who does this treatment benefit?

ESWT is especially beneficial for patients that have chronic heel pain and have not had much success with traditional therapies such as medications, orthotics, injections or physiotherapy. If you suffer from plantar fasciitis, heel spur syndrome or Achilles tendonitis, you should speak to your podiatrist about how ESWT can work for you.

Can anyone receive this treatment?

Your podiatrist can determine if you are a candidate for ESWT. It is reserved for special cases where other methods of treatment did not provide adequate relief of pain. ESWT is a very safe treatment, however it is not recommended for use in heel pain for children, pregnant women or people currently taking medications that inhibit blood clotting.

Does this treatment involve surgery or medications?

ESWT means that there is no surgery, no anaesthesia, no injections and no medication.

What’s involved in the treatment?

The procedure is performed in the comfort of your podiatrist’s office. After an evaluation of your medical history, your podiatrist will carry out a simple manual examination of the painful area. The trigger point, or sore area over the heel, will be located and marked.Ultrasonic transmission gel is applied to the foot. The ESWT hand piece is then positioned to gently and extensively transmit shockwaves over the injured area. The feedback you provide to your doctor helps determine the fine positioning of the applicator and the measurement of the impulse frequency. Once you are comfortable at a low level, the energy is gradually increased over several minutes.

How long does the treatment take?

A typical treatment session lasts about 5-15 minutes. You will require one session per week for three weeks.

How soon can I expect results?

Most patients will notice improvement after the first treatment, with up to 90% improvement after the third treatment.

Do I need a referral from my family physician?

Although many of our patients with long-standing heel pain are referred by their physician, a referral is not necessary. You can simply contact our office directly and make an appointment at your convenience.

British Columbia Association of Podiatrists

Mill Creek Podiatry & Orthotics
202 – 1912 Enterprise Way
Kelowna, BC, V1Y 9S9
P: (250) 717 – 0350
F: (250) 868 – 0672