Shockwave Therapy for Treating Plantar Fasciitis and Other Foot and Leg Conditions

As a Podiatrist working in my own private practice, I often see patients with foot and leg conditions that require treatment. Recently, I invested in the BTL Radial Shockwave Machine (ESWT) to help treat conditions such as plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendonitis, and stress fractures. In this blog post, I’d like to explain what Shockwave Therapy is, how it can help treat foot and leg conditions, and its mechanisms of action and effects on the tissue.

What is Shockwave Therapy?

Shockwave Therapy is a non-invasive treatment that uses high-energy sound waves to stimulate healing and reduce pain in affected areas of the body. There are two types of shockwaves used in therapy: focused and radial. Focused shockwaves are highly concentrated and used for more specific, targeted treatments. Radial shockwaves, on the other hand, are less concentrated and used for larger treatment areas.

What can Shockwave Therapy help treat in the foot and leg?

Shockwave Therapy is effective in treating many different foot and leg conditions, including plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendonitis, and stress fractures. It’s also useful for treating soft tissue injuries, such as sprains and strains. The treatment can reduce pain and improve mobility, making it an attractive option for those suffering from these conditions.

Mechanisms of Action

Shockwave Therapy works by inducing microtrauma in the affected area, which stimulates the body’s natural healing response. The microtrauma triggers the release of growth factors, which promote tissue regeneration and healing. The treatment also increases blood flow to the area, which helps to reduce inflammation and pain.

Effects on the Tissue

Shockwave Therapy has many positive effects on the tissue. It stimulates the production of collagen, which is essential for tissue regeneration, and can also improve circulation in the area, leading to faster healing times. The treatment has been shown to reduce pain and increase mobility, making it an attractive option for those suffering from foot and leg conditions.

Benefits of Shockwave Therapy

Shockwave Therapy has many benefits for patients. It’s a non-invasive treatment that doesn’t require surgery or medication, making it a safe and effective option for those with foot and leg conditions. It’s also quick and easy, with most treatments lasting around 30 minutes. Patients can usually return to their normal activities immediately after treatment, making it a convenient option for those with busy schedules.

Risks and Side Effects

While Shockwave Therapy is generally safe, there are some risks and side effects to be aware of. Patients may experience bruising or discomfort during the treatment, and some patients may experience a temporary increase in pain after the treatment. However, these side effects are generally mild and go away quickly.

NICE Guidelines

Shockwave Therapy has been recommended by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) as a treatment option for certain musculoskeletal conditions, including plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendinopathy, and tendonitis. The guidelines state that Shockwave Therapy can be an effective treatment option for these conditions, particularly for patients who have had the problem for a number of months.


Shockwave Therapy is an effective and non-invasive treatment option for many foot and leg conditions. It works by stimulating the body’s natural healing response, which can reduce pain and improve mobility. If you’re suffering from a foot or leg condition, speak to our Podiatrists about whether Shockwave Therapy is right for you. Click here to book an appointment with our MSK Specialist Podiatrist.

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