Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy

Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy (ESWT) is  a non-invasive, non-surgical, safe and effective treatment option for orthopedic conditions, including plantar fasciitis.  Use of ESWT to treat orthopedic conditions, including plantar fasciitis was derived from technology first used to treat kidney stones.

Plantar Fasciitis Explained

Plantar Fasciitis is a common ailment characterized by deep pain in the plantar aspect of the heel.  Conservative therapy is beneficial to many individuals suffering from this ailment.  Conservative therapy may include rest, stretching, heel cushions, heat, ice, ultrasound, massage, orthotics, heelcups, steroid injection, casting, taping, shoe modifications, or nightsplintings.  For some individuals, these treatments may be frustratingly slow or ineffective. ESWT is another treatment option that can provide beneficial results.

ESWT History and Benefits

ESWT has been successfully used for orthopedic treatments in Europe and Canada for many years.  The United States FDA approved ESWT for treatment of plantar fasciitis in the year 2000. Since then, several types of shock wave devices have entered the U.S. market.  These devices can provide relief of common plantar fasciitis.  ESWT has been shown to relieve pain, reduce inflammation, stimulate a healing response, and provide a short recovery period.  Often these benefits come with few, if any, side effects.

Proven Effectiveness

ESWT has been proven effective at treating plantar fasciitis in multiple studies. Northern Litho uses Dornier medical devices to treat Plantar Fasciitis.  Dornier is a leader in the shockwave therapy industry, and their advanced technology lineup includes the EPOS Ultra Orthopedic Shockwave Device.   Prior to receiving FDA approval in 2002 for the EPOS Ultra device, Dornier conducted a study of 150 patients, 75 patients in an active group who were treated with shockwave therapy, and 75 patients in a sham group who were treated with a placebo (i.e. no shockwave).

The study had two endpoints, a mean VAS (Visual Analog Scale) pain score and a Roles and Maudsley pain score (scale of four categories: excellent, good, fair, and poor).  When asked to rate pain on both pain scores, patients in the active group showed statistically significant better pain improvements when compared to the sham group. Patients in the active group showed a 56.5% improvement after 3 months on the VAS scale (compared to 46.6% in the sham group) and a 61.6% of active patients had good to excellent results after 3 months (compared to 39.7% in the sham group) using the Roles and Maudsley pain score.

Northern Litho Use of ESWT

Northern Litho has used ESWT extensively since the technology was approved for use in the United States.  Our highly trained technicians and advanced technology help produce high efficacy rates and excellent results for our patients.

Physician Consultation

Patients considering ESWT, or any other Plantar Fasciitis treatment, should consult a physician who can help them determine the best course of treatment for their specific condition.  Please let us know if you need help locating a physician in your area.