Shock Wave therapy

shock wave therapy

General Heel Pain Information

The most common cause of heel pain is Plantar Fasciitis, also known as heel spur syndrome. Plantar fasciitis is an inflammation of the plantar fascia, which is a tight band of fibrous tissue starting at the heel, traveling across the arch, and fanning toward the toes. Heel spurs generally occur when the inflexible fascia is repeatedly stressed or the tissue is torn causing inflammation. Chronic heel pain is typically the result of an overload of physical activity or exercise causing the plantar to lose its elasticity.

Shockwave laser

Most sufferers complain of a burning sensation or an aching pain in the heel of the foot, especially in the morning. The fascia ligaments tighten up at night while we are resting and the pain diminishes. Pressure is placed on the ligaments when we get out of bed causing the excruciating pain to return. The pain decreases throughout the day since the tissue has warmed up, but will come back fairly quickly if standing for long periods of time or heavy physical activity.

Common symptoms of plantar fasciitis are:

  • Pain on the bottom of the heel
  • Increasing pain over a period of several months
  • Pain that worsens upon arising especially after sitting/lying for a long period of time.

Orthospec Technology

If you are suffering from heel spurs or plantar fasciitis, who do not respond to conservative treatments, The Orthospec is the best alternative before considering surgery. The Orthospec uses the technology known as Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy (ESWT), which is the process used to stimulate the healing of affected tissues deep within the body. Acoustic (sound) waves are generated from outside of the body to break up scar tissue and allow the rapid healing of the inflamed fascia or tendons.

The Orthospec is designed to treat chronic heel pains caused by Plantar Fasciitis, with or without heel spurs, with a success rate of over 75%. The procedure takes about 25 minutes. Most patients return to normal activities the next day. Many patients feel relief the next day but the entire process of creating a new blood supply for the affected area may take between six weeks to three months. It is important to continue your stretching exercises during this critical period.

shockwave achilles tendonitis

Treatment: Before & After

Deepening on your tolerance level, you may be given a local anesthetic injection behind the ankle to anesthetize the treatment area. Following the anesthetic, a gel solution will be applied to the skin over the affected region. The Orthospec will be positioned on the affected area of the foot, in which shock waves will be generated at the site. You will hear a sound impulse created by the shock waves being sent through a water medium, which spreads through the tissue without losing substantial energy. Ear plugs can be used for additional comfort. The treatment should take about 25 minutes.

What should I expect after the procedure?

You may experience some discomfort at the treatment area after the local anesthesia subsides. Most patients experience little to no pain 1-3 weeks after the procedure. Pain may return to pre-treatment level, but will improve as the tissue heals. Pain is manageable with over-the-counter pain medication, such as Tylenol.

For 4 weeks following shockwave treatment:

  • Do not treat the affected area with heat or ice and do not take any anti-inflammatory medications such as Motrin, Advil, etc., unless advised by your physician.
  • Do not participate in any stressful activities involving the affected area, such as running, jogging, heavy housework, yard work, vigorous exercise, or sports.
  • Avoid completely flat shoes such as sandals (flip-flops), loafers, moccasins or house slippers. If you have orthotics, please continue to use them.
  • Simple, gentle Achilles tendon stretching exercises must be performed several times per day and prior to any exercise or sports activity. Heel pain patients should continue Achilles tendon stretching exercises as directed.

It is important to remember that the reduction in pain is due to increased blood flow from the formation of the blood vessels in the foot. This process takes time, and some patients may experience slight pain for 6 weeks to 3 months. Keep in mind that this is normal, so do not get discouraged if relief does not occur sooner.


Frequently Asked Questions

When should I consider ESWT?

Dr . Machado recommends ESWT When:

  1. Burning sensations or aching pain in the heel of the foot
  • Increasing pain over a period of several months
  • Pain that worsens upon arising especially after sitting/lying for a long period of time.
  • If you have seen no result in treatments such as cortisone injections, strapping, custom orthotics, Achilles tendon stretching, NSAIDS, and/or physical therapy

How many treatments do I need?


One treatment, lasting about 25 minutes.

Is the Orthospec treatment painful?

Depending on your tolerance level, you may be given a local anesthetic injection behind the ankle to numb the area. You may feel pressure or slight discomfort in the affected area without anesthesia.

When will I start feeling better?

Results from the treatment may be immediate or may take some time. After treatment your physician may ask you to return in 3 weeks to evaluate your condition.

What should I avoid doing after the treatment?

Do not treat the affected area with heat or ice or take any anti-inflammatory medications. Avoid completely flat shoes and continue wearing orthotics if you have them.

How long before I can go back to work?

Normal activities can be resumed immediately. Vigorous exercise and heavy housework or yard work should be avoided for the first few weeks.

Are there any conditions that would prevent me from being treated?

You should not receive this treatment if you are pregnant, have bleeding disorders such as hemophilia, have bone tumors, bone infections, any metal implant in your foot, or skeletal immaturity. 

NOTICE: - “The information on this page is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Only your doctor can diagnose and treat a medical problem. For detailed information on FDA regulations for the Orthospec please visit”

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