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ESWT: The Latest Heel Spur Treatment

By: Shane Mark | Apr 2 2012 | 500 words | 1727 hits

Heel spur is a very common medical condition amongst men and women in their middle age. Heel spur is caused due a hook of bone being formed on the heel bone. It is characterized by intense heel pain. The heel pain does not occur due to the formation of the hook of bone. In fact, the pain occurs when this outgrowth presses against the ligament that is attached to the heel bone. The intensity of the pain is such that it can immobilize you.

There are a number of effective heel spur treatments that can be implemented by the doctor. However, which treatment will suit you the best depends on the condition of your heel spur. If the heel spur has been diagnosed in its earlier stages, it can then be treated with some simple measures such as applying ice packs, using shoe inserts and night splints and by performing exercises that relax the muscles and nerves of your feet.

Heel pain and tender heels is usually the result of a biomechanical irregularity which places too much pressure on the heel bone and the yielding tissues that attach to it. Heel pain may also effect from injury, or a contusion incurred while walking, running, or jumping on hard surfaces; wearing weakly constructed footwear; or being heavy.

To control the inflammation, doctors prescribe certain non-steroidal anti inflammatory drugs. In adverse cases, surgery is recommended. However, in the last decade a new treatment has emerged which is highly effective in treating chronic heel spurs. This latest heel spur treatment is extracorporeal shock wave therapy.

Electro Shock Wave Lithotripsy (ESWT) is the most general non-invasive surgical option. A focused force wave is directed at the precious area. The power wave disrupts the fascia tissue without requiring a surgical slit. If the ESWT machine can create enough power, there may only need to be one heel spur treatment.

Extracorporeal shock wave therapy has been approved by FDA, in the year 2000, as a successful treatment for severe heel spur. In this therapy, the heel is exposed to focused shock waves, either of high or low energy form. These shock waves tend to induce micro trauma on the affected site which eventually initiates the body's healing mechanism. When the healing response is initiated by the body, blood vessels are formed which increase the delivery of vital nutrients to the affected part.
Both low energy and high energy waves are equally effective.

The treatment is less painful if one opts for low energy shock waves; however, it takes series of three or more treatments. On the other hand, only one session is required if you opt for high energy waves but it is quite painful and general anesthesia is administered to the patient.

Extracorporeal shock wave therapy is an excellent heel spur treatment found to be effective on those patients who have found no relief with traditional measures. However, this treatment is quite expensive. But, if you want to avoid surgery, ESWT is the most effective treatment you can get for your heel spurs.


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