Extracorporeal Shockwave Treatment (EWST) for Plantar Fasciitis

If you're experiencing chronic plantar fasciitis, you know how debilitating the pain can be. Many people turn to conservative treatments like rest, ice, and anti-inflammatory medication, but if these options aren't effective, other treatment options are available. One such option is extracorporeal shockwave therapy (ESWT), a noninvasive, highly effective treatment for many patients.

What is Extracorporeal Shockwave Treatment (EWST)?

Extracorporeal shockwave therapy (ESWT) is a noninvasive, high-energy treatment that stimulates the healing process and reduces inflammation in the affected area. ESWT is an effective treatment option for chronic plantar fasciitis, as it promotes healthy tissue regeneration in the plantar fascia. This ligament runs along the bottom of the foot.

During an ESWT treatment session, high-energy shockwaves are delivered to the affected area using a handheld device. These shockwaves penetrate the skin and stimulate the healing process by increasing blood flow to the affected area, promoting the release of growth factors, and stimulating the production of new tissue. The treatment can also help to break up scar tissue and reduce inflammation in the affected area.

There are two main types of ESWT equipment: focused and radial. Focused ESWT equipment delivers a high-intensity shockwave to a specific point, allowing targeted treatment of a specific area. Radial ESWT equipment delivers a lower-intensity shockwave over a larger area, which can be useful for treating larger areas of tissue damage. Both types of ESWT equipment are effective for treating chronic plantar fasciitis. Still, the choice of equipment may depend on the specific needs of the patient and the severity of their condition.

In addition to these two main types of ESWT equipment, several different brands of equipment are available on the market. Each brand has its unique features and capabilities and may be better suited for certain types of patients or conditions. Your podiatrist can provide more information on the different types of ESWT equipment available and help you determine which type may be best for your individual needs.

Plantar fasciitis illustration

The Benefits of EWST for Plantar Fasciitis

Extracorporeal shockwave therapy (ESWT) is an effective treatment option for chronic plantar fasciitis that has not responded to conservative treatments. One of the key benefits of ESWT is that it is a non-invasive treatment that does not require anesthesia or a recovery period. ESWT is also a highly effective treatment option, with many patients reporting significant improvement in pain levels and overall function after treatment.

ESWT has a high success rate, with many studies reporting a significant improvement in patients' pain levels after treatment. In one study, up to 80% of patients with chronic plantar fasciitis experienced significant improvement in their symptoms after undergoing ESWT. This success rate is higher than other treatment options, making ESWT an attractive option for many patients with chronic plantar fasciitis.

The benefits of ESWT are not just limited to pain relief in the short term. Evidence suggests that ESWT may also provide long-term benefits for patients with chronic plantar fasciitis. One study found that patients who underwent ESWT had significantly better pain relief and functional improvement outcomes than those who underwent more traditional treatment options, such as steroid injections or physical therapy. The study also found that patients who underwent ESWT had a lower risk of requiring additional treatments or surgeries in the future, suggesting that ESWT may provide long-lasting relief for patients with chronic plantar fasciitis.

Another potential long-term benefit of ESWT is that it may help prevent plantar fasciitis recurrence. By stimulating the healing process and promoting the regeneration of healthy tissue in the plantar fascia, ESWT may help to strengthen the ligament and reduce the risk of future injury. This can be particularly beneficial for patients at a higher risk of developing chronic plantar fasciitis due to their occupation or lifestyle.

Overall, ESWT is a highly effective treatment option for chronic plantar fasciitis, offering numerous patient benefits. With a high success rate and potential long-term benefits, ESWT can provide significant relief for patients who have not found relief with conservative treatments. If you are experiencing chronic plantar fasciitis and are interested in exploring ESWT as a treatment option, talk to your podiatrist today to learn more about the potential benefits of this innovative therapy.

Plantar Fasciitis

What to Expect During an EWST Procedure

If your podiatrist has recommended ESWT as a treatment option for your chronic plantar fasciitis, you may wonder what to expect during the procedure. During an ESWT procedure, a handheld device delivers high-energy shockwaves to the affected area. The treatment typically lasts around 20 minutes, and most patients require multiple sessions to achieve optimal results.

While ESWT is generally well-tolerated, some patients may experience mild discomfort during the procedure. Your doctor may offer pain medication or a numbing cream to help minimize any discomfort. After the procedure, you can typically return to your normal activities immediately, as no recovery period is required.

Who is a Good Candidate for EWST?

ESWT is a good treatment option for many patients with chronic plantar fasciitis. However, it may not be the best option for everyone. Your podiatrist will evaluate your symptoms and medical history to determine if ESWT is a good treatment option. Factors that may make you a good candidate for ESWT include:

  • Chronic plantar fasciitis that has not responded to conservative treatment options
  • The desire to avoid more invasive treatment options like surgery
  • The ability to tolerate the mild discomfort associated with the procedure


If you're experiencing chronic plantar fasciitis and looking for an effective treatment option, extracorporeal shockwave therapy (ESWT) may be a good choice. This non-invasive treatment option has a high success rate and is generally well-tolerated by patients. If you want to learn more about ESWT and whether it may be the right treatment option, schedule an appointment with your podiatrist today.

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