Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy (ESWT)

What is Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy?

Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy, also known as ESWT, is a non-invasive procedure that can be used to treat heel pain. ESWT is often used in treating conditions like plantar fasciitis and Achilles tendonitis. There are two kinds of shock wave therapy: high energy and low energy. The low energy procedure is the one used in most podiatry offices. Multiple treatments will be necessary for the low energy procedure, but it is still effective. The high energy procedure has to be performed under anesthesia and must be done in a surgery center or hospital.

How Does ESWT Work?

ESWT works in treating heel pain by using sound waves to stimulate healing. Since it is non-invasive and doesn’t involve any incisions, healing is much faster than with traditional surgical options. There are also fewer possible complications and the patient can get back to their daily routine more quickly.

What A Patient Can Expect During A Treatment

The treatment typically takes about ten minutes per foot. If you are having the low energy procedure performed in a podiatrist’s office, it will most likely be performed once a week for a period of three to five weeks. The amount of procedures needed will depend on the severity of your case.
You shouldn’t feel pain when the procedure is performed, just minimal discomfort. Patients often describe the foot the procedure is performed on as feeling numb after the procedure. The pain will improve gradually as the procedures go on.

What A Patient Can Expect After A Treatment

The patient should be able to wear normal shoes and resume regular activities immediately after undergoing the procedure. The day after the procedure, the patient can start doing gentle stretching exercises. Do not become too active too soon, though. Because the procedure temporarily reduces or gets rid of the pain, some patients push themselves too hard and hinder healing. It is important for the patient to avoid taking all anti-inflammatory medications, like ibuprofen, for at least four weeks afterward, and the patient should also avoid going barefoot while the foot heals.
As with all foot problems, it is important to be sure to wear well-fitting, supportive shoes, even after the foot is healed. Orthotic devices may even be prescribed by your podiatrist.

What Are The Risks?

Every procedure, no matter how safe, has its risks. ESWT is no exception. Possible risks of the procedure include:
If you are worried about the potential complications of the procedure, you can discuss the treatment with your podiatrist.

Dr. Neuhaus was recently featured in the Daily News Journal with a story about this great new procedure. Please read the story

To learn more or to schedule an appointment, you can contact us using the appointment request or contact us form. You can also call the Neuhaus Foot and Ankle office at 615-220-8788 or at our toll-free number 888-713-0906.


Neuhaus Foot & Ankle
300 Stonecrest Blvd. Suite 450
Smyrna, TN 37167
(615) 220-8788