Achilles tendonitis is a painful condition that is usually a result of a sudden increase in the intensity and duration of a sport or exercise, which puts a strain on the Achilles tendon. The Achilles tendon is what connects the calf muscles to the heel bone.
Achilles tendonitis can improve with self-care methods. Rest, ice, over-the-counter pain medication, and physical therapy exercises can help relieve symptoms. Activity modification as well as making changes to your conditioning program are a couple of ways to help prevent a recurrence, although the Achilles tendon does weaken with age. Treatment should also focus on strengthening the tendon.
There is a noninvasive treatment for Achilles tendonitis that can help relieve pain and symptoms of the injury, especially if symptoms have persisted for over six months. Shockwave therapy is most commonly used by healthcare professionals to ease symptoms of patients with Achilles tendonitis and help with rehabilitation.
How Does Shockwave Therapy Work?
Shockwave therapy uses acoustic waves delivered directly to the site of the injury, in this case, the Achilles tendon, to relieve pain and improve blood flow, which accelerates healing.
Shockwave therapy works by letting soundwaves penetrate the skin, similar to an ultrasound. A handheld device is placed on the skin (which is lubricated with a type of gel for conduction) and the low-energy acoustic waves induce microtrauma. The trauma created by the acoustic waves stimulates the body’s healing response. The formation of blood vessels for increased blood flow and the delivery of nutrients to the area are all processes of healing and repair, which help relieve pain and inflammation. It usually takes several sessions, spaced one week apart, to get the best results from this treatment.
When combined with physical therapy exercises and other modalities, shockwave therapy is very effective in treating patients with Achilles tendonitis. When conservative methods have failed, the use of shockwave therapy along with conservative methods has improved clinical outcomes in patients with Achilles tendonitis. It can even help patients avoid surgery. Shockwave therapy not only works on patients with Achilles tendonitis but also tendinopathy and plantar fasciitis, and there is evidence of its effectiveness in multiple high-quality randomized clinical trials.
If you are interested in shockwave therapy for your Achilles tendonitis injury, you are more likely to get the best outcomes if the treatment is administered by a foot and ankle doctor, or podiatrist.
Shockwave Therapy in San Antonio, TX
Achilles tendonitis can make it difficult to stand or walk, let alone play sports or exercise. At The Podiatry Group of South Texas, we offer extracorporeal shockwave therapy (ESWT) using low-energy shock waves as one of our noninvasive treatments for Achilles tendonitis. We perform this therapy in a safe environment where we first make sure our patient is relaxed and comfortable.
The right patient can get excellent results from this therapy, especially when it’s part of a comprehensive treatment program. Our goal is to help you return to your normal activities soon. If you have any questions about shockwave therapy or to make an appointment with us, call our clinic nearest you or use our convenient appointment request form. We look forward to helping you return to the life you love!