What to do when your plantar fasciitis doesn’t get better.
If you’ve been diagnosed with plantar fasciitis, you’ve likely exhausted other treatments like frozen water bottles, stretching, orthotics, massage, anti-inflammatories, cortisone injections or other therapies.
Results from these treatments vary considerably and you will find them provided by different health care professions with varying degrees of success. When your plantar fasciitis doesn’t get better, people that don’t respond to conservative treatments, up to 20% of plantar fasciitis sufferers, may be candidates for shockwave therapy.
This is a condition that is caused by degeneration, fibrosis, and inflammation of the plantar fascia where it originates from the heel and is characterized by exquisite heel pain with the first few steps getting out of bed in the morning. Over the course of months as the condition becomes chronic, the healing process cannot keep up with the mechanical demands and the patient is left with irritable scar tissue, thickening and fibrosis of the plantar fascia, and chronic pain.
Everyone responds differently to treatments, but if you’ve gone 6 months with no relief, it may be time to try more advanced options with your physiotherapist. When your plantar fasciitis doesn’t get better, shockwave therapy has been shown to be successful in up to 90% of people with plantar fasciitis of 6 months duration or longer. Shockwave breaks up scar tissue, releases local growth factors, and recruits stem cells which enhance the intrinsic healing process and causes new blood vessel growth in the heel. By creating microtrauma shockwave restarts the stalled healing process that occurs when plantar fasciitis becomes chronic.