Have you had heel pain or achilles pain for 3 months or more and are still getting pain? Maybe your heel has been getting sore over summer and has stopped you going for walks or the pain you experience first thing in the morning is just becoming too much to bear.
Have you tried everything for your heel or achilles pain but it’s still not getting better? Or are you finding it difficult to do your exercises regularly and so are not seeing any improvement?
In December we were lucky enough to purchase a Swiss Dolorclast Shockwave machine. This therapy has been shown to have an 80% success rate in countless research papers, and has given relief to thousands of people (including some very high profile athletes) who had failed treatment by other means such as orthotics, icing, strengthening and stretching. This technology was developed in Switzerland over 10 years ago and has been the go to treatment for many orthopaedic surgeons for their patients struggling with chronic tendon issues. The technology is targeted to reduce your pain and promote your body’s natural healing process. It is the leading machine on the market and the only one to have been backed by research.
But what is it?
Shock wave therapy, unlike its name suggests, is not electric shocks, rather it is a series of sound waves or high energy percussion. In the back of the hand piece is a small “hammer” that bounces back and forth at a frequency and a pressure that will be selected by your podiatrist to have the most optimum outcome. These sound waves trigger an inflammatory response and aim to accelerate your body's healing process while giving you an analgesic effect.
In chronic plantar heel pain scar tissue can start to build up around the plantar fascia. Scar tissue has very poor blood flow which makes it slower to heal. The shockwave machine essentially jolts the area and breaks up that scar tissue up like a jackhammer, promoting blood flow and therefore healing.
How many treatments will you need?
This can vary for each individual case however the research that has been done suggests that 5 visits should be all that is needed. These appointments must be done in the recommended time frame; a minimum of 3 days apart up to a maximum of one week in between treatments. This ensures the continued benefit and makes sure that you get the most out of your treatments. Think of it like a course of antibiotics, you need to take them at certain times of day and for a certain period of time otherwise you will not get the ideal response. There is a small cost on top of our normal consultation costs but if you have been in constant pain for months, it is a small price to pay. The total cost per appointment is $125 and the appointment and the therapy are rebatable against private health insurance with applicable podiatry cover.
Does it work for other conditions, not just heel pain?
Absolutely! If you are wondering if shockwave could be used for you give us a call or ask your podiatrist next time you are in. It is the most beneficial in injuries relating to muscles and tendons. Think locations such as the achilles tendon, shin splints or calf muscles.
Any side effects?
We will go through your full medical history and a biomechanical assessment before deciding if shockwave therapy is appropriate for you.
There are about 20% of people who have shockwave therapy treatment, where it has no effect or change to your symptoms. We will generally know if someone fits into the category after 2 appointments. At this point, we re-evaluate our treatment plan and try a therapy that works for you.
Some side effects the day of and/or after the shockwave therapy session, you may feel some temporary swelling, numbness, discomfort or redness or tenderness over the skin of the treatment area.
Swiss Dolorclast VS. Other SWT Machines?
The Swiss Dolorclast is the only machine FDA approved with results 50% better than other machines in the study area.
If you have had shock wave therapy and it hasn't worked, there is a good chance the machine used on you was not the Swiss Dolorclast.
If you want to know more about shockwave, how it works or if you could be a candidate don’t hesitate to get in contact with us! We are so excited to be able to offer this exciting technology to our Footpath community and don't want you to be limited in your daily activities for any longer!