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Posted by stephb on 6/18/04 at 06:37 (153364)

I have plantar fasciitis. I am in Belgium and I am getting some treatment which the Doctor calls electro-shock treatment. My question is: Is it the same as ESWT? She doesn't know - but she's Belgian, and English isn't her main language. It's PAINFUL - like a sort of electrical drill - but it does seem to improve things. I only had my first session yesterday. She said I need 2 more sessions and next week it will be with smaller needles and thus more painful. Is this what you guys are all getting or is this something different?
Thanks for your advice


Ed Davis,DPM on 6/19/04 at 15:15 (153512)

I would liken the feeling of ESWT to being hit with a big rubber band multiple times as opposed to a 'drill.' Does the machine have a bladder that goes up against your heel or pads that stick to you skin with wires attached?


Steph on 6/19/04 at 16:09 (153516)

Hello Ed
Thanks for getting back to me. No, I guess what I'm getting isn't ESWT then. It's like a drill not only in sensation, but in appearance too. The doctor passes the drill-head over my heel and turns the frequency of the drilling up higher and then down lower depending on how near she is to the most painful spot and how much I can stand the pain. I wonder what it is, then? I had 3 sessions last year when I had achilles problems and it was really a wonder cure - so I'm hoping it will be the same for my recently diagnosed plantar fasciitis. I must say the Belgian health system is second to none - far better than back home.



Donald Iain Scott on 6/20/04 at 03:49 (153533)

It sounds like radial shock wave therapy.(RSWT) Some units have a bulbus head which is applied directly to the heel region.
Do they use an ultrasound to look inside your foot?

Donald Iain Scott


Steph on 6/20/04 at 11:48 (153544)

Hi Donald
It's more drill-like than bulbous...and no, no ultrasound either. She just judges where the drill should go by how painful it is. Sounds kind of barbaric I know, but it seems to work...

Re: ESWT? - or EMS

stephb on 7/06/04 at 10:06 (154599)

Hi all
Had my second session of electro-shock treatment last week. This time I had a good look at the machine and it is called EMS. The treatment lasts no long than a couple of minutes, if that. Thank God as I felt quite faint from the pain. But it is certainly effective. My foot felt a lot better straight away and I am now running again. Other useful advice from the excellent doctor:
1. DON'T run on your toes. Especially women do this, thinking it is more elegant, but it means the arch is stretched all the time. Now I am concentrating on thumping my heels down first, walking and running
2. Walk on sand! I am wondering about investing in a sand-pit, or maybe just use the cat-litter tray? But won't this be bad for the Achilles? (problem I had last year)
3. Thick-pile carpet is also good

One thing I had never realised was just how much I walked around the flat. Not until it started to get painful. Now I'm really aware of it- and trying to cut down. No thick-pile carpet, sadly, but bare parquet everywhere: not good