Shockwave Therapy: Is it Effective in Treating Plantar Fasciitis Among the Elderly?

Updated on April 30, 2020
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If there’s one thing that’s certain in Calgary, that would be the fact that its elderly population is rapidly growing. This means that its government will need to provide more and better healthcare benefits to ensure the wellness of its aging population. 

Aging is not a bad thing, but as you already know, along with the wisdom that comes with old age are aches, pains, and physical limitations that make simple tasks more challenging. Plantar fasciitis, or more commonly known as heel pain, is one of the conditions that come naturally with age. 

This may be a seemingly simple condition, but in older adults, it can be burdensome. Thankfully, shockwave therapy in Calgary is now easily accessible to help alleviate the conditions of the elderly. 

Old age and heel pain

Most people assume that athletes are more vulnerable to plantar fasciitis. However, studies show that age is actually the biggest risk factor. Practicing podiatrists revealed that more than 50% of their patients are senior citizens. They say that the feet of these aging baby boomers are like cars, the higher the mileage, the more worn out they become. 

With this in mind, it’s no longer surprising to find out that plantar fasciitis is one of the main reasons older adults are experiencing heel pain. Over time, the foot arch or plantar fascia degenerates as a result of normal wear and tear. The heel pad also becomes inflamed or gets overused. All of these can result in chronic heel pain. 

Other risk factors that come with age include obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular problems. All of these conditions will either limit the blood circulation to one’s foot or strain the foot arch. 

What is shockwave therapy? 

This is a new technology that emerged as an alternative option for people who are suffering from tendon problems. This therapy utilizes electromagnetic pulses or pressurized air to send shock waves to the patient’s body to treat different chronic disorders like tennis elbow, calcific tendonitis, and of course, plantar fasciitis. 

How does shock therapy work?

Shock wave treatments come in two forms — low and high-energy forms. Both of these forms can treat plantar fasciitis and other conditions mentioned above. The former type is usually given as a part of a three or more series of treatments. 

When it comes to pain, the former type is generally not painful. Though some patients report mild discomforts and mild pain, in general, it’s bearable. 

The latter type, on the other hand, is administered in one session. Compared to the low-energy shock wave treatment, this one is more painful. In fact, in some cases, the doctor gives anesthesia to the patient undergoing the therapy. General anesthesia or regional block is administered in higher-energy shockwave treatments. 

According to experts, shock wave therapy works by inducing microtrauma directly to specific tissue affected by the heel condition. The said microtrauma then triggers the body’s healing response. Such a healing response will then cause the formation of the blood vessel and enhance nutrient delivery to all the affected areas. 

This microtrauma will also stimulate the body’s repair process and relieve the patient of pain symptoms. 

So, now that you understand the relationship between age and heel pain, and you also know that shockwave therapy is a reliable treatment option for those suffering from chronic heel pain, it’s time to give this technology a try. 

If you or an elderly loved one is suffering from plantar fasciitis, talk to your doctor now and explore the possibility of getting permanent relief the soonest time possible. 


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