We have been using EPAT, which is a form of shockwave therapy, at our clinic. This is highly effective for plantar fasciitis and Achilles tendinitis. I only have to do this for resistant cases of plantar fasciitis. Here is what to expect: Shockwave treatment is fairly intense but our patients tolerate it quite well. I start off at a low intensity and I increase during the treatment session. There is no down time with shockwave therapy. There is minimal risk of injection related concern such as nerve irritation or infection or deep bruising. I reserved this shockwave therapy for those few patients who don't respond to traditional treatments. But I always make sure the traditional treatments such as a night splint, prescription orthotics, highly specific supportive shoes etc. are there as treatment building blocks.
The impressive thing about shockwave therapy is that there is progressive continual improvement up until 16–18 weeks after the start of treatment. There are a few individuals who may require an additional miniseries of 2 or 3 additional shockwave treatments but this is extremely rare. Occasionally the primary problem–plantar fasciitis pain will completely resolve and there may be some residual pain in another location that may be from compensating. For example the heel pain will have resolved and there may be some pain on the outside of the foot from compensating. Eventually that will resolve also. Another example would be those heel pain patients where part of the pain is related to irritation to the nerve. This is the medial calcaneal branch of the nerve and it may require separate treatment from the plantar fasciitis.
If you have heel pain, and have tried virtually all treatments except for shockwave therapy please let us know. Both myself Dr. Timothy Young, and my partner Dr. Brandon Nelson would be happy to review your options.
If you are experiencing any heel pain, please do not hesitate to give us a call at 425-880-9552 or contact us online for an appointment.