Common Questions About Shockwave Therapy

Dr. Corey Fox
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Director of Massapequa Podiatry Associates


One of the defining characteristics of Massapequa Podiatry Associates is our commitment to providing patients with the best options in state-of-the-art treatment. We take pride in helping so many people overcome foot pain and return to their favorite activities with advanced technologies like MLS laser therapy, Tenex®, and Amniovo®.

(As those guys in the infomercials always say, though, “but wait, there’s more!”)

Yet another revolutionary treatment you can receive at our Long Island office is extracorporeal shockwave therapy (ESWT). This particular option is ideal for many patients suffering from lower limb pain, and especially heel pain (which is a rather common problem). Not enough people are aware of it, so let’s take a moment to answer some of the common questions about shockwave therapy:

Shockwave Therapy

What is extracorporeal shockwave therapy?

Shockwave therapy utilizes high energy sound waves to induce stimulation in the cells of damaged tissues. These waves are delivered through an applicator and are able to penetrate through skin and other tissue layers to reach the site of injury. Once there, they produce increased cellular metabolism and improved blood flow – both of which are able to enhance the body’s own natural healing processes and provides quicker tissue regeneration.

The treatment session generally lasts around 5 to 10 minutes, and has few side effects. You may notice some slight bruising or a few purple spots. There may also be localized swelling, tingling, and even numbness, but these typically resolve rather quickly and without any problems.

Why do we use ESWT?

Put simply, we use shockwave therapy because it is both safe and effective.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is a governmental agency responsible for regulating medical equipment (along with, obviously, food and drug products). The agency’s studies have determined that shockwave therapy is completely safe and the FDA has approved it for medical use.

Even better, an FDA study has proved the treatment to produce a reduction in pain of 92% for participants in the study. The participants rated their levels of pain prior to, and then following, ESWT treatment. On a scale of 1 to 10 (with a score of 10 indicated the most severe pain), the average reported score was 7.7. When the same participants were asked to report their level of pain one year after treatment, the average reported score had dropped all the way down to 0.6.

What conditions can it treat?

This particular treatment has been found to decrease pain in connective tissue disorders and injuries, including plantar fasciitis and Achilles tendinitis. We may elect to start your particular heel pain treatment with more traditional measures (RICE therapy, stretches, custom orthotics), but we may recommend this as a viable alternative to surgery if you still are experiencing unresolved pain.

Who can undergo this kind of treatment?

Whereas the process is proven to be safe, individuals who are pregnant, have heart conditions, are prone to seizures, or have hypersensitivity or neuropathy in the target area may need to consider alternative treatment options.

All other patients are likely to be eligible. We can certainly discuss whether or not this is a viable option for you at our office.

For more information about shockwave therapy—or any of the advanced treatment options we provide to treat lower limb issues like plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendinitis, or other sources of heel pain—or to request an appointment, simply give us a call at (516) 541-9000. 

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