Heal Pain


Probably the most common condition that is known to respond very well to Shockwave is Plantar Fasciopathy, often known as Policeman’s foot.

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The pain is usually felt on the medial tubercle (the calcaneus) of the heel and is felt along the Soft Tissues of the foot to the base of the toes. This is the inside of the calcaneal, the bone that has the heel strike with the ground. Given the foot’s biomechanical structure, a heal strike as you walk is the most common footfall pattern, but this alone is not necessarily the cause of any problems. Factors through the hip and joints above the ankle can also contribute to this condition.

Plantar Fasciitis is the condition where we often see patients with high BMI, diabetes and other pathologies that affect the foot. The foot might be the last thing in their consideration but a nasty plantar fasciopathy can cause significant discomfort and pain for patients. Given the impact on their mobility, it can often lead to the deterioration of other health conditions. This is a big problem with a large number of the population affected. In America, 2 million people annually visit doctors for treatments of this nature.

According to the College of Podiatry, between 75-80% of people in the UK report some sort of foot problem with more than 44 million days of work lost each year.

With this condition the symptoms are often morning pain or pain after resting. Typically, there is some improvement with movement as the area ‘warms up’ however with more severe conditions the patient simply can't walk very well.

Because so many people are treated for this condition each year, many patients we see have already had injections, physiotherapy, acupuncture and heel supports. Lifting the heal and arches by way of orthotic devises can be of great help to correct the biomechanical issue however, patients are still left with an unremitting pain.

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The clinical assessment is similar to the other conditions with imaging used to exclude or confirm the diagnosis. There are a few indicators of this condition that are easy to identify without the need for screening. Simply holding your toes and bringing them up towards the body may be enough to give you pain along the underside of the foot as this stretches the affected tendon and could indicate a plantar fasciopathy. With more chronic cases the heel pad may also be visibly swollen.

The largest double-blind study into the effectiveness of Shockwave Therapy was conducted by Gerdesmeyer in 2008. It conclusively proved this is a safe and effective treatment for recalcitrant (recalcitrant means not responding or simply being stubborn to heal) plantar fasciopathy and we subsequently have had NICE guidelines from 2009. The complex biomechanical nature of the foot can make it a difficult area to treat but the results are among the most successful of any Shockwave treatment.

So when can you be seen by us in clinic, realistically post 6 months in accordance with NICE clear guidelines.

Next Steps

Here are the 3 steps to discover if Shockwave is right for you:

  • If you want to read more about Shockwave Therapy, download a free copy of The Shockwave Solution book
  • If you have a specific condition, however you are not sure Shockwave is an appropriate course of treatment, complete a free, confidential Online Assessment.
  • If you are ready to see if Shockwave is right for you, call to schedule an assessment appointment 020 8662 1155