Shockwave Therapy as Treatment for Achilles Tendonitis
Updated: Aug 22
Achilles tendonitis is a painful condition that occurs when the Achilles tendon becomes inflamed. The Achilles tendon is a thick band of tissue that connects the calf muscles to the heel bone. Achilles tendonitis is most often caused by repetitive or intense stress on the Achilles tendon, such as from playing sports. This type of stress can occur suddenly or develop over time. Symptoms of Achilles tendonitis include pain and stiffness in the back of the leg, along with swelling and tenderness.
The pain may worsen with activity, stretching, or taking steps uphill. Achilles tendonitis can be treated with self-care methods such as rest, ice, and over-the-counter pain medication. Physical therapy exercises may also be helpful in relieving symptoms. To prevent Achilles tendonitis from recurring, it is important to modify your activity level and make changes to your conditioning program.
Treatment should also focus on strengthening the Achilles tendon. Shockwave therapy is a noninvasive treatment that can help relieve the pain and symptoms of injuries to the Achilles tendon. This is most often used if the symptoms have existed for over six months. Shockwave therapy is 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 is a non-invasive, drug-free treatment that uses low-energy acoustic waves to stimulate the body’s healing response. The waves are administered through a handheld device that is placed on the skin (which is lubricated with a type of gel for conduction).
The waves induce microtrauma, which stimulates the formation of blood vessels for increased blood flow and the delivery of nutrients to the area. The resulting increase in blood flow and nutrients helps to relieve pain and inflammation. It usually takes several sessions, spaced one week apart, to get the best results from this treatment.
Shockwave therapy is a non-invasive, FDA-cleared treatment that uses sound waves to treat a variety of conditions, including Achilles tendonitis. When combined with physical therapy exercises and other modalities, shockwave therapy is very effective in treating patients with Achilles tendonitis. In fact, when conservative methods have failed, the use of shockwave therapy along with conservative methods has improved clinical outcomes in patients with Achilles tendonitis.
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. Perhaps best of all, shockwave therapy can help patients avoid surgery. If you are suffering from Achilles tendonitis or another condition that may be helped by shockwave therapy, be sure to discuss this treatment option with your physician.
Shockwave Therapy in Los Angeles, CA
Achilles tendonitis is a condition that can make it difficult to stand or walk, let alone play sports or exercise. The Achilles tendon is the largest tendon in the body, and it connects the calf muscle to the heel bone. When this tendon becomes inflamed, it can cause severe pain and stiffness. Extracorporeal shockwave therapy (ESWT) is a noninvasive treatment that uses low-energy shock waves to reduce inflammation and promote healing.
At Performance Care Sports Medicine & Rehabilitation Center in Los Angeles, we offer this therapy in a safe environment where we first make sure our patient is relaxed and comfortable. ESWT has been shown to be an effective treatment for Achilles tendonitis, and it has the added benefit of being nonsurgical and quick.
If you are suffering from Achilles tendonitis, please contact us to learn more about how ESWT can help you. 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!