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Documenting My ESWT Beginning 04-28-05

Posted by Walkingirl on 4/29/05 at 13:00 (173926)

Plantar Faciitis Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy Received April 28, 2005

Thursday, April 28, 2005
I received ESWT this morning at 8:30 a.m. via Epos Ultra®. The goal is to document my case in order for others to evaluate if they want to have this treatment.

8:00 a.m. I arrived at the doctor's office and met with the technician from United Shockwave Services, LTD. I signed the paperwork, then he started to explain how the treatment works, but since I have read so much about it at the FDA site, etc., I said to him, 'basically you are doing controlled damage to the area so my body will kick in and heal itself.' He agreed. He further indicated that some people feel better right away and continue to get better and better. Other people feel better then feel worse...feel better then feel worse, etc. until they feel better all the time. It can take 3 months to start feeling better all the time. He also indicated that the success rate is 85%. This is better than what is indicated in the FDA reports because much has been learned over the years.

At first I thought it was the heel that was being shocked, but its not. It's the faciitis next to where it connects to the heel. After the treatment I was told the faciitis is normally 3mm and mine is 7 – 7.4 mm (because of inflammation). The doctor had told me in a previous visit, that if an area of the body does not heal itself, the body isolates that part of the body and quits doing its job. Consequently, there is chronic inflammation in the faciitis.

8:15 a.m. I went into the treatment area. The doctor shot the inside of the foot right below the ankle area with anesthesia. It was painful, but not nearly as painful as getting a cortisone shot. I could feel the sharp tingling pain in the front of my foot and at the site of the shot. He slowly kept administering the shot…it took about a minute...it seemed a lot longer that that. Then an ultrasound was taken of the area they planned to shock. I had to lie very still (lying on my side).

8:30 a.m. The shockwaves began. At first it did not hurt. But as it progressed, it began to hurt more and more with tingling/pressure pain. I felt it on the opposite side of the foot. The tech and the doctor said I had to lie very still or movement of the foot would cause more pain. As your foot is being shocked, it becomes numb as the nerves in your foot are being put to sleep by the shock. So they waited to see if that would happen before giving me another shot of anesthesia. But, it was becoming too much for me to bear so I was given another shot of anesthesia. This time the shot was not as painful because of the prior shot. Then there was not pain after that. The doctor was very nice and talked with me about my job and different subjects to help me keep my mind off the procedure.

8:50 a.m. The procedure finished. The tech told me my foot would feel like wood, and it did. The tech said for me to walk on it normally, but to be careful not to twist my ankle/foot because I have no feeling in it. I was told the numbness would last 2 to 8 hours. Therefore, I am instructed to rest and stay off my feet today. The doctor was going to give me a special shoe to wear for 2 days to keep my toes from flexing, but he decided my Dansko Professional shoes were stiff enough. He wrapped my foot and ankle with a disposable ace bandage. I was given a prescription of LorTabs, but the doctor said that Tylenol will probably be enough. I do not ice the foot, or take anti-inflammatories because they want the foot to stay inflamed (so the body will kick in and do its job).

I asked the doctor when I can start swimming and riding my bike again. I can swim after 2 days and start riding my bike after a week. So I am very happy to know I will not have to loose body strength over this. I was also given instruction on stretching.

5:30 p.m. My foot still feels like wood. I have feeling on the top of my foot and around my ankle. The lower ankle area, toes and the bottom of my foot still has no feeling. My toes are red, my foot is swollen, and when I touch the foot, it is tight and feels like it is running a fever. I have not taken pain medication yet because my foot is still numb. The inside heel area feels weird when I walk. It is quite spooky.

10:30 p.m. I took a LorTab and went to bed. I was not in any real pain. I did not want to wake up in the middle of the night in pain. Also, I was emotionally tired of having no feeling in my foot and being spooked by it.

Friday, April 28, 2005 (Day 2)

8:00 a.m. I woke up with no pain. My toes are no longer red and most of the swelling has gone down. I have no bruises. It is almost noon now and still no pain and I have not taken any pain medication. I have full feeling in my foot except my heel. I have feeling there, but it is still numb. I have flexed my ankle area. I am avoiding flexing my toes today. As the doctor said not to flex the toes for 2 day. So far so good!

Re: Documenting My ESWT Beginning 04-28-05

Dr. Z on 4/29/05 at 15:54 (173935)

Good luck. Sounds like you had a very good experience

Re: Documenting My ESWT Beginning 04-28-05

BrianG on 4/29/05 at 18:49 (173944)

Hi Walkingirl,

Could you tell us the instructions you got for stretching. There seems to be more than a couple different sets (of instructions) being given on these pages.


Re: Documenting My ESWT Beginning 04-28-05

Walkingirl on 4/29/05 at 21:56 (173955)

ESWT Post Procedure Stretching Exercises

Calf Stretch
• Stand back approximately 1 foot facing a wall. Extend one leg behind you. Keep both feet flat on the floor, toes pointed straight ahead, with your extended knee straight, and your front knee bent.

• Move your hips forward; keep your lower back flat.

• Lean into the wall until you feel tension in the calf muscle of the extended leg.

• Hold for ten seconds, and then stretch the other leg. Relax and repeat at least two more times.

Plantar Stretch
• Stand back two or three steps facing the wall.

• Bend on leg forward and lean slightly against the wall. Keep the back foot flat against the floor and parallel to your hips.

• Raise the back heel off the floor. Shift your weight to the ball of the foot, and PRESS down. Hold for 5 seconds, and repeat at least two more times.

Achilles Tendon Stretch
• Stand with one leg in front of you, slightly bent, and the other leg extended back.

• Lower your hips downward and slightly bend knee of the extended leg just until you feel slight tension at the back of your ankle.

• Hold the stretch 10 seconds, and then stretch the other leg. Repeat at least two more times.

Re: Documenting My ESWT Beginning 04-28-05

vince on 4/30/05 at 07:22 (173961)

Hope you have a satisfactory result. Would you be willing to tell us what are of the USA you were treated in?

Re: Documenting My ESWT Beginning 04-28-05

vince on 4/30/05 at 07:24 (173963)

Sorry for the typo- I meant AREA

Re: Documenting My ESWT Beginning 04-28-05

Walkingirl on 4/30/05 at 15:49 (173999)

I had the treatment in Salt Lake City, Utah. My insurance did not pay for this treatment. I used the medical flex plan through my employer. $1,000.

Re: Documenting My ESWT Beginning 04-28-05

RyanT on 4/30/05 at 18:46 (174002)

Walkingirl - How long had you been battling PF before you tried ESWT?

Re: Documenting My ESWT Beginning 04-28-05

Walkingirl on 5/01/05 at 00:57 (174006)

8 1/2 years. I only found this site about 6 months ago. It got to the point that every step hurt clear around the edge of my foot including the heel. But taking Foltex helped most of that. Then I was back to the original problem only. Heel pain. My other foot is starting to hurt and my knee is going bad because I favor the left foot so much. Swimming has been my only exercise and life saver. I have tried night splints, custom orthotics, anti-inflammatories, ice, rest, physical therapy, cortizone shot, self massage along the meridem pathways, etc.

I do not believe rest is the answer. I had a non-related surgery last year. I had to take it easy for 6 weeks. My foot didn't hurt as much, but as soon as I started activity again, the pain came back.

Re: Documenting My ESWT Beginning 04-28-05

Walkingirl on 5/03/05 at 20:45 (174204)

Friday, April 29, 2005 (Day 2)

8:00 a.m. I woke up with no pain. My toes are no longer red and most of the swelling has gone down. I have no bruises. It is almost noon now and still no pain and I have not taken any pain medication. I have full feeling in my foot except my heel. I have feeling there, but it is still numb. I have flexed my ankle area. I am avoiding flexing my toes today. As the doctor said not to flex the toes for 2 day. So far so good!

10:02 p.m. Today, I took Tylenol because I had a backache and head ache. I picked up around the house. I did not clean. I soaked in the tub. I went to the Humane Society and to my favorite second-hand store. I rested inbetween everything. I used the electric cart at Costco. I have felt fine all day except for the headache. I am starting to feel some discomfort in my arch close to the treatment area.

Saturday, April 30, 2005 (Day 3)

3:30 p.m. I have been out and about all day with my husband shopping for a tree. My heels are sore. I can do no more. I am going to rest now with the foot bath. Because of the pain, I feel depressed and nervous. My left heel feels the same as it did before the treatment (which is expected).

Sunday, May 1, 2005 (Day 4)
The feet were causing me stress. I used my foot bath and went to bed early.

Monday, May 2, 2005 (Day 5)

8:00 p.m. I went back to work today. I have a desk job. I forgot to take Tylenol with me. So I did not have any pain medication all day. Big Mistake. Today is my worst day. I guess the nerves in my foot are waking up because if I move my foot in a certain way or over stretch (non weight bearing stretches), I feel nerves I never knew I had with sharp, piercing pain running through my foot.

I went to heerspur.com and looked up Lori S. and Lynn F.'s messages of encouragement. I printed the messages and hung them up in my cubicle. I figure I will need to read the messages often to keep my spirits up.

When I arrived home I took it easy. My son fixed me a foot bath, and my husband made dinner. I wore my Z-Coils. They gave me some relief. I went to bed with a LorTab. Note: I think I was on my feet too much over the weekend.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005 (Day 6)

Today was a lot better. Because I work at a desk, I am training myself to do non weight bearing stretches before I walk. I don't always remember. I need to make it a habit. Got home and my husband made me a foot bath, then after I massaged my calfs, ankles and feet. I did my stretches. I decided to take it easy on myself even though today is better. Not painfree, just better than yesterday. I did some exercises on the pilates ball. I have decided to document everyday for the first week post treatment, then once a week, etc.

Re: Documenting My ESWT Beginning 04-28-05

elvis on 5/04/05 at 00:11 (174211)

Thanx for posting here with your experience.

Re: Documenting My ESWT Beginning 04-28-05

Walkingirl on 5/04/05 at 22:46 (174276)

Plantar Faciitis Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy Received April 28, 2005

Wednesday, May 04, 2005 (Day 7)

Today was better than yesterday. I took 2 Tylenol 2 x today. I did not take any LorTab at bedtime last night. I was depressed earlier today, but this evening I am not. I have hope. Since I had minimal pain, my husband and I walked 3 blocks to the park and threw the ball for the dog. I massaged my foot while my husband threw the ball. It's a small incline on the walk home. For the first time, I realized the Z-Coil shoes cause little action in the toe area and a lot of action in the achilles and calf areas. I think that is good. I guess I will know soon enough if the walk was a wise decision. Right now the treated side, the calf muscle feels twinges and in the arch where it connects to the heel is sore. No heel pain. My good foot (which has heel pain too, but not near as bad), has the heel pain, but no tightness in the achilles and calf areas.

Reflecting on the past week, I have to say that the experience has not been half as bad as I anticipated. I decided early on to do the PF and Yoga stretches I learned on the heelspur.com site rather than the stretches given to me by my doctor/United Shockwave Services. I treated myself to either a hot bath or a hot foot bath every evening.

This is my last posting for a week.

Re: Documenting My ESWT Beginning 04-28-05

Dr. Z on 5/04/05 at 22:51 (174277)


It is great that you are taking the time to log your daily improvement. I do want to make sure you understand that ESWT healing usually is a gradual decrease in pain over weeks to months with the most dramatic difference starting at week eight thru week sixteen.
Heat is great, taping and no bare feet. I would note your progress every two weeks instead of daily or even weekly. I wish you continual sucess and it appears that you are on your way to a pain free foot life

Re: Documenting My ESWT Beginning 04-28-05

Walkingirl on 5/05/05 at 04:07 (174288)

Dr. Z:

Following is an excerpt of my posting on 5/3/05, 'I have decided to document everyday for the first week post treatment, then once a week, etc.'

Which means I made a plan to post everyday for the 1st week, then post weekly for the next 2 weeks, then bi-weekly, monthly, etc.

The object is to provide other PF sufferers insight to one person's experience with ESWT. This is something I would like to see prior to ESWT treatment.

Thank you for your advise and help on the other matters. It is greatly appreciated :-)

Re: Documenting My ESWT Beginning 04-28-05

Walkingirl on 5/12/05 at 21:48 (174862)

Plantar Faciitis Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy Received April 28, 2005

Thursday, May 12, 2005 (Day 15)

Last Friday, I had a doctor visit. He taped my feet. I have been keeping foot activities down to a minimum on the advice of others on this site that had success with ESWT. Connie H. said, '…she sat down whenever she could…' Lori S. said, …don't do more than your feet allow…REST!' Use the search engine to view their postings. I have also been stretching, stretching, stretching. I also massage my arches, ankles, archilles, and calves.

I still have heel pain. Nevertheless, the treated foot, has the same pain level as the untreated foot. Prior to ESWT, the untreated foot did not have near the pain as the treated foot. So, this is an indicator to me, that even though the treated foot has heel pain, it is less than prior to ESWT.

I realize, I am only 2 weeks into the process and I will have ups and downs. This is simply documentation for others to consider.

Re: Documenting My ESWT Beginning 04-28-05

Ralph on 5/12/05 at 22:08 (174864)

I think your public documentation is very helpful and just want to thank you for keeping the rest of us informed about your post treatment experience.

Re: Documenting My ESWT Beginning 04-28-05

Walkingirl on 5/14/05 at 15:51 (175015)

Plantar Faciitis Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy Received April 28, 2005

Saturday, May 14, 2005 (Day 17)

I am so sick of it. The pain in my heels, seeing everything around the home that needs to be done and I can't do it. It's overwhelming and such a struggle (and my husband helps me a lot). I just want to crawl in a hole, go to sleep and not wake up. No, I am not suicidal. Either, I am not stupid enough, selfish enough, or brave enough to do such a thing. Beautiful Spring days, and I cannot work in my yard, go for a hike, or any of the things I so enjoy being outdoors. I am crying today because I am so low. Anyone reading this should get the picture.

Re: Documenting My ESWT Beginning 04-28-05

Ralph on 5/14/05 at 19:09 (175038)

I don't know if it will make you feel any better but from reading back posts many other people feel the same way as you at times including myself.
Sometimes I found comfort reading what others had to say perhaps you might too.

I just keep trying the conservative treatments listed in Scotts book and try and keep the faith. I think I'm getting better. My inflammation is way down and the cord isn't sticking out as far any more.

I don't wear the hard orthotics that were made for me by my Pod because they really caused me a lot more pain. I wear my running shoes and purchased some thick foam inserts from a store that fits diabetic foot ware. They are nothing RX just something they sell. The man fit them in my shoes and I wear them. So far so good. Not great, but better. I also tape and do Julie's yoga exercises faithfully.

Glad you posted because we all can appreciate how you feel. The people here have either been there, are there, getting better,or could be there again so we know the frustration you are experiencing.

Re: Documenting My ESWT Beginning 04-28-05

Walkingirl on 5/23/05 at 11:49 (175538)

Re: Documenting My ESWT Beginning 04-28-05

May 23, 2005 (Day 26)

Pain-wise, last week was a week of ups and downs. Last Saturday was my best day yet. I was on my feet most of the day (taking rest breaks inbetween). The only time my feet hurt was when I walked on the grocery store floors. Other than that, it was a perfect day. Sunday, was not as pain-free, but it was a pretty good day. Today, back to painful feet.

What may be happening, is that when my feet feel good, I am on them. On them too much perhaps. Then the pain comes back. It's just hard to stay off of your feet when they feel good and the weather is so nice.

I feel like if I get the archilles and calves stretched, everything would feel so much better. I work those areas everyday, several times a day. I try not to over-stretch as this will only make it worse.

My doctor said I can start taking ibruprophen and W-Zymes next week. Ibruprophens (sp) and my stomach do not get along. So I asked my doctor if I can take aspirin instead. He said no. The reason is that the inflammatory properties in aspirin stays in your body much longer than ibruprophen and he still wants some inflammation in the treated area. So, next week, I think I will just stick with the Tylenol, but start taking W-Zymes. I dropped the stretch in the Yoga Stretch, but continue to massage the arch and do the other stretches previously outlined. The Yoga Stretch just aggravates the area.

I am looking forward to more days like last Saturday.

Re: Documenting My ESWT Beginning 04-28-05

Ralph on 5/23/05 at 12:37 (175543)

Again thanks for the update. I for one greatly appreciate you taking the time to keep the rest of us informed about your post ESWT experience.

Hope you have many more GOOD days ahead of you.

Re: Documenting My ESWT Beginning 04-28-05

Cathy D on 5/23/05 at 16:47 (175558)

Hey I just came across this site and your story. Just like so many of the others have said, I just want to encourage you to hang in there and don't give up! I've had PF for 13 months and have gone through all of the same experiences as you - custom orthotics, night split, various doses of anti-inflammatories, cortisone shots, several ice sessions/day, stretches to improve flexibility, intense physical therapy, weekly massages, walking cast, anti-depressants, accupuncture, ESWT, no more cute shoes (nothing but Danskos or Asics Gel Kayanos with my orthotics while wearing professional clothes for work - imagine what that looks like with a skirt) no more walking golf course just riding a cart, and the obvious, no running, just lots of biking and swimming. As a triathlete missing all of last year's races and especially the commorodery with my tri friends nearly was enough to make me throw in the towel....but I didn't and you aren't going to either. What I'm going to tell you is this: one day, it will be gone. You can't predict that day, but I just know that if you do all of what you say you're doing, its gonna go away. Continue to ALL of the (above) remedies, especially those that seem to make even the slightest difference in pain, and even more importantly, as was in my case, take care of your mental health. Surround yourself with positive, supporting loving friends and/or family, whatever your case is. I must admit I did not feel ANY relief from the ESWT until about 6 months after the procedure. In my opinion, the procedure failed to cure me, but it was totally worth the $800.00 to try. Today, I am running - I started very very slowly, as in 3 blocks walking, 1 block jogging, for just 5 minutes, and nothing but grass surfaces. I started this 4 weeks ago, and am very, very slowly building my time spent pounding my feet on NOTHING but grass surfaces(I have a huge soccer field to run on) but I am FAITHFUL at resting when any hint of pain surfaces, and spent much time stretching, icing, wearing the night split, massage, accupuncture, over the counter pain relievers, and nothing but Danskos or Asics Gel Kayanos with the customized orthotics. This is a true test of patience. I hope I have encouraged you.

Re: Documenting My ESWT Beginning 04-28-05

Walkingirl on 5/24/05 at 17:00 (175641)

Thank you, Cathy D, for the encouragement. I will look into the Asics. I am getting ready to buy new shoes to fit the inserts into anyhow. Last weekend were excellent painfree days. I am looking forward to more.

Why do you think that the ESWT did not help you? From, what I have read on this site, 3-6 months seems to be the going timeline for the benefits to manifest itself.

Again, thanks for the encouragement.

Re: Documenting My ESWT Beginning 04-28-05

Walkingirl on 6/15/05 at 18:18 (176899)

I am now 7 weeks ESWT post treatment.

I rested my feet a lot during the 1st month. I have been walking more this last couple of weeks. Last week was wonderful! At times the treated foot is better than the non-treated foot (the non-treated foot used to be my good foot). This week has been more pain. In fact, for the 1st time since treatment, the treated heel has had that ole time feeling...feels like a big pebble is in the heel spur area. However, I am expecting the up and downs. Some days I start to cry, feel like the condition will never end, I AM JUST SICK OF IT, and think I will end up in a wheel chair. Other days I have hope because there is no pain and feel like I can take on the world. When I have no pain in my feet, I walk and I am on my feet a lot. I think this sets me back...I need to backoff some when they do feel good. I still have hope.

Other treatments I am using on a daily basis.
*Stretches outlined on this site.
*Massage and pressure point arch, archiles, and calfs.
*Foltex (prescription B complex).
*Wobenzyme (natural anti-inflammatory).
*Drink Water (I do not drink nearly enough).
*Slowly, slowly, slowly, stretching the back of the leg all the way up to my hips
*Careful to not overstretch.
*Wear New Balance tennis shoes all the time with custom orthotic inserts.
*Feet never touch the floor without shoes/orthotics.

Re: Documenting My ESWT Beginning 04-28-05

Ralph on 6/15/05 at 19:41 (176902)

Is it considered ok to use a natural anti-inflammatory? I think you are right about the ups and downs because other have posted similar experiences which I'm sure you've read here too.

What was the time frame give you by your doctor? It sure would be nice if they could say things like at 3 weeks expect this and at 7 week this and 9 weeks this. Something more concrete would sure boost the spirit especially if it happened just like they said it would.

Continued luck and thanks for the update.

Re: Documenting My ESWT Beginning 04-28-05

Walkingirl on 6/15/05 at 22:56 (176915)

I didn't start taking the Wobenzyme (anti-inflammatory until week 6). It does make a difference pain-wise. And, I am only taking 1/3 of the recommended dosage.

From what I have read, studying this site on ESWT and ESWT patient postings, nothing is concrete. Everyone goes through a unique experience since we are unique. However, the tech who conducted the ESWT told me some people start feeling better right away and continue to get better and better. Other people get better, or worse then better, then a setback, then better,etc., then better and better. He also said it takes about 3 months for the revasculation to take place. He said around the 3 mo. time period, I would begin realize a marked difference.

My own conclusion, (nothing scientific) I think, on average, 6 months seems to be the magic time to start seeing better days more often. A year seems to be the time I see postings of very happy results, such as, 'I am 100% better' or 'I am 95 better', etc.

I do realize I need to be patient. I am posting to document and share my ups an downs for others who want to decide if they want ESWT. I wanted to find this kind of documentation of a patient of ESWT when I was making my decision. This is what I wanted to read about. You can read the technical data on ESWT found in lots of places, but I think reading the human experience is important too.

Thanks Ralph!

Re: Documenting My ESWT Beginning 04-28-05

Ralph on 6/16/05 at 07:53 (176924)

For new readers that will eventually find this site your documentation I think will be very valuable because someone will be able to say to them use the 'search' tab and plug in 'Walkingirl'.

They will be able to read about your first hand experience with ESWT in your words as you went through the healing process. If they are down you can be their hope, if they are optomistic you will become their travel companion in this journey. Either way others that read your posts will become richer for doing so.

Re: Documenting My ESWT Beginning 04-28-05

CherylS on 6/16/05 at 08:49 (176930)

Thanks for posting your experiences. I am considering having ESWT. What machine was used for you, and how did you make your decision as to whether Ossatron, Dornier, or whatever else is out there?

Also wondering whether it makes a difference WHO does the ESWT on the patient. Are there various skills that make a difference? Should one get ESWT administered by whatever technician is assigned that day, or should one only have it administered by one's own podiatrist or MD that you have come to know and trust?


Re: Documenting My ESWT Beginning 04-28-05

Walkingirl on 6/16/05 at 23:45 (176985)

My doctor preferred Dornier, and I didn't have to go under anethesia. Also, I studied this and other sites, such as the FDA Blind Studies. The Ultra Dornier provides an ultra-sound picture for the tech so he can focus the shockwaves directly where it needs to be. Also the Dornier uses high shockwave vs. low. For the treatment, both my doctor and the tech from United Shockwave therapy were present. The techs are trained and conducts EWST all the time. My doctor has to put in 30 hours a year?

By the way, that ole time feeling I was complaining about the other day (feels like pebble in heel spur area) is gone. It only lasted one day. My foot did not feel perfect, but it felt pretty good!

Read, read, read, then make your decision.

Re: Documenting My ESWT Beginning 04-28-05

connie on 6/23/05 at 16:38 (177259)

do not do it.

Re: Documenting My ESWT Beginning 04-28-05

Dr. Zuckerman on 6/23/05 at 17:34 (177260)


Re: Documenting My ESWT Beginning 04-28-05

connie on 7/06/05 at 21:47 (177982)

because my foot hurts more. is that normal?

Re: Documenting My ESWT Beginning 04-28-05

Dr. Zuckerman on 7/07/05 at 14:15 (178012)

Depends on what is the time frame of healing and how much activity you are doing.

Re: Documenting My ESWT Beginning 04-28-05

Walkingirl on 9/07/05 at 23:08 (182286)

Well I have not posted for months so I think its time for an update. I am doing so much more. I have recently lost 10 pounds, and I think it is because I have been on my feet...moving.

I have continued with all the therapy's written about in earlier postings. I strongly believe that the ESWT has everything to do with me being able to walk, cook dinner, etc.

In July, my husband and I went to Oregon for 2 weeks. It was a camping family reunion with my siblings and their families. I was going all day long playing, helping with food preparation, cleanup, walking on the rocks by the river, riding the rapids, etc. We also camped at the coast. At low tide, I climbed over the rocks with everyone else. Helped the kids find critters in the tide pools, etc.

I have been doing trigger point therapy on myself. Through this therapy, I now realize how tight the muscles in my lower legs have become from not using them. I believe that the tight muscles, most likely, contributed to the plantar faciitis. This is not to say it caused the PF...I am saying because I have PF I did not use the muscles...by not using the muscles it just made it worse. The downward spiral effect. In fact, I think that ESWT is ONE GREAT BIG TRIGGER POINT session! That is what it does, releases the faciitis. It is just my opinion.

I am so much better off now than I was prior to EWST. My husband and I just finished up 2 weeks of yoga classes 4 x a week. I never, never, never, would have been able to do 1 class prior to ESWT.

I am still not completely pain free. I still have up and downs. However, the downs have never been near bad as prior to ESWT. Since taking the yoga classes my foot has been more aggravated. Therefore, I have decided not do any poses that aggravate it, such as the Tree Pose.

If I had to have a treatment of ESWT once a year to feel as good as I do now...I would do it!

I still have hope to be pain free someday. I am just a little over 4 months post ESWT.

Re: Documenting My ESWT Beginning 04-28-05

elvis on 9/08/05 at 00:02 (182290)


Re: Documenting My ESWT Beginning 04-28-05

Dorothy on 9/08/05 at 00:39 (182294)

Walkingirl: When you began posting your log of your progress and experiences here, I was on a 'break' from the message board, but I kept reading here. I wanted to commend you for your very useful and informative record of your experiences. I thought at the time that you began and as you continued that this was an excellent way to share information and I thought it was very generous of you to do this.

The post you have written today is such good news and so full of hope and healing. So, belatedly, thank you for the journal which I have appreciated reading here and hope you will continue - writing here and healing. Good work!

Re: Documenting My ESWT Beginning 04-28-05

Ralph on 9/08/05 at 11:29 (182326)

Again thank you for your documentation. I'm not familiar with trigger point therapy so when you have a minute would you mind posting a few words on that subject. It's probably something we can all use.

Re: Documenting My ESWT Beginning 04-28-05

elvis on 9/08/05 at 11:33 (182327)

Here's some info


If it's the same principle that is used in accupuncure I'm not so impressed although when I got accupuncture the lady did find a very sensitive spot at the base of my right thumb on the palm side of my right hand (pain in ly left foot). She told me to massage that area during the day. I got rid of the soreness in my hand but not my foot. Go figure.

Re: Documenting My ESWT Beginning 04-28-05

Walkingirl on 9/08/05 at 12:27 (182338)

The site Elvis posted is the very same book I checked out from the library. I stumbled onto trigger point therapy because a young man at work said his wife developed PF working on a new intentive dance routine (she's in a dance company). The dance company sent her to a trigger point therapist. It helped her, so I thought I would try it. It is not a pain-free therapy!


Re: Documenting My ESWT Beginning 04-28-05

Walkingirl on 9/08/05 at 13:14 (182342)

It is not acupressure; it is trigger point therapy. A synopsis of what is taught in the book (in my own words)....

1. Muscle, etc. damaged.
2. Heals back shorter and twisted.
3. You find the trigger point by moving the painful muscle, etc.
and feeling along the muscle that is moving until you find the most
tender point.
4. Slowly/deeply rub across the point with pressure to work out the
toxins, lengthen the muscle, etc.
5. Trigger point a spot for 1 minute up to 8 x a day. Pain level should
be about 70%.
6. What is interesting is that you can work an area on the upper calf and
it will make the toes tingle!
7. An example, I have found, that when the toes are flexed up and down,
there is a tendon that moves in the arch of the foot. If I trigger
point that tendon, the pain experienced on the inner ankle area
between the ankle and heel is relieved. That is called referred pain.

A good companion book would probably be a good anatomy book to fully understand the layers of muscles, tendons, etc., in the human body.

I also purchased a Theracane so I can work the trigger points anywhere on my body without having to depend on someone else.

Because of the pain of PF, the muscles in my legs atrophied from non-use. After ESWT, the heel pain has subsided enough for me to use my feet. Once I started using them again, then you find that other muscles need to be released from non-use.

Elvis; this may not impress you, however, it may help someone else. Self-help is key; Who can afford to see a trigger point or massage therapist every day? Even with co-pays (providing the insurance company would recognize it - mine doesn't) would become too costly.

Re: Documenting My ESWT Beginning 04-28-05

Marie on 9/08/05 at 13:35 (182351)


Thanks for the info, I am going to try the trigger therapy. I have hardly walked in a yr and my calf muscles have atrophied. I am having ESWT in 3 weeks and I thank you for documenting your story of the procedure and your recovery?

How are you doing now? I have had the pain for 12 months and am at a point where it is never excruciating anymore, just dull tiring pain and I hve worn ugly support sneakers for the whole yr. I ma hoping that I dotn make the pain worse but I also want to start walking and biking again.


Re: Documenting My ESWT Beginning 04-28-05

Walkingirl on 9/08/05 at 14:10 (182356)

Your welcome Marie!

Please see my posting on 09-07-05. That is the most recent update. Ugly shoes are better than a wheel chair. I wear tennis shoes with custom orthotics everyday...even to the office!

In my case, the orthotics didn't help much pre ESWT. I think custom orthotics are a must post ESWT. I can tell the difference in a painful way if I do not wear them. My doctor had the orthotics made for me at cost...$150. Good Luck!

Re: Walking Girl, re Yoga

Julie on 9/08/05 at 16:24 (182371)

I'm very glad your feet are better. You are absolutely right to modify your yoga practice. Balancing on one leg of course puts ALL your weight on one foot, and is definitely to be avoided. I would suggest you go carefully with all standing posture work.

When I have had students with PF I've encouraged them to wear their trainers while we are doing standing work, and I would advise you to do the same. Not going barefoot one of the good PF-rules, so until you're completely healed bare feet are best avoided. Of course yoga is always practised with bare feet, but I'm sure your teacher will make an exception for you if you explain.

Yoga will help you in many ways - but the last thing you want it to do is make your PF worse.

Re: Documenting My ESWT Beginning 04-28-05

Ralph on 9/08/05 at 21:29 (182424)

Thank you for posting about trigger points. I greatly appreciated it. I think you paid a fair price for your orthotics. Most people are charged a lot more. Sounds like you got a good combination going between ESWT and your orthotics.

Re: Documenting My ESWT Beginning 04-28-05

Walkingirl on 9/09/05 at 16:24 (182493)


Thank you for the advise. I will take it! I think you are absolutely right that I should wear tennis shoes with the orthotics during yoga practice. I have already shot off an e-mail to the studio asking if it is permitted.

Everyone Else: Thank you for your responses and encouragement!

Re: Documenting My ESWT Beginning 04-28-05

Julie on 9/10/05 at 00:11 (182538)

Hi Walkingirl

If it isn't permitted to wear shoes, I would think again about the studio and the teaching. Of course it's best to practise barefoot, but no-one who isn't willing to accommodate a person with a foot problem should be teaching yoga. I hope you explained your problem and didn't just ask if shoes are permitted. I'd be interested to know what they say.

Best wishes for your continued improvement - enjoy yourself.

Re: Documenting My ESWT Beginning 04-28-05

Walkingirl on 11/16/05 at 15:14 (187589)

Walkingirl Update Post 29 Weeks / 7 1/2 Months.

My left foot is feeling fantastic! It is not perfect. I still need to take care of it by wearing orthotics and never letting my feet touch the floor, etc. But, I can walk down the street with absolutely no pain. I look for the pain, turn my foot, push the heel to the sidewalk and still no pain! I am amazed! And, this is on a fairly consistent basis.

However, my right foot is increasingly getting worse. I have given my right foot the exact attention as the ESWT Treated Left Foot. The only difference is that I have not had ESWT on it. I have tried every therapy in the book. Including visits to a professional massage therapist who does deep tissue massage and trigger point therapy. So...I am scheduled to have ESWT on the right foot on Nov 30, 2005. I am looking forward to it. I am dreaming of two good feet by May 2006.

Conclusions so far is that ESWT works (for me), but a person needs to take charge of their ongoing therapy. Experiment what works for them. I am so glad that I discovered Trigger Point Therapy because as you start to use your legs and feet again, muscles need to be released from non-use. ESWT is a great therapy, but after treatment, use all the other tools you have learned to help you survive PF. It not just zap and then it's done.

Wish me luck!

Re: Documenting My ESWT Beginning 04-28-05

Walkingirl on 12/01/05 at 21:01 (188695)

11-30-05 I received ESWT on the right foot. I am not going to document it as I have done with the left foot ESWT treatment on 04-28-05 unless there is a marked difference.

It was so good for me to have this documentation to refer back to. It gives me confidence. What I did notice is that on Day 2 after having ESWT on 04-28-05 & 11-30-05 is that I got a TERRIBLE HEADACHE! Now, does that make sense?

This time the doctor gave me 3 shots in the foot to numb it prior to treatment. In April, 1 shot did not do it! Yesterday, the shots were worse than the treatment. So, it was a lot less tramatic this time.

My main objective at this time is to review Julie's Foot Yoga.

Re: Documenting My ESWT Beginning 04-28-05

Walkingirl on 12/06/05 at 10:26 (189027)

RE: 11-30-05 ESWT on Right Foot. Because of my ESWT experience of the Left Foot, I learned that it is best to stay off the treated foot as much as possible the first week. Especially because the first couple of days the treated area is still numb, therefore it is easy to be on it too much. I call the first couple of days, 'The Magic Time.' I have not had near the pain this time around. I attribute it to staying off the foot, not flexing the toes first 2 days, and light massage. I started on the foot yoga exercises with no adverse affects.

Re: Documenting My ESWT Beginning 04-28-05

Mike K on 10/17/06 at 15:42 (213526)

Hi Walkingirl. It has been a long time since your last post. I live in SLC also and am considering ESWT. Now that you have had both feet done do you think it works? Would you have it done again?

Re: Documenting My ESWT Beginning 04-28-05

Walkingirl on 4/01/08 at 11:51 (245374)

Walkingirl ESWT Update April 1, 2008:

WOW! I have not posted in over 2 years! I did not feel good for a while, and then I found out why. I had colon cancer stage 3b. I was not yet 50 when I found out about it. That may be the reason my body would not heal the plantar faciitis...my body was fighting the cancer. Just a theory.

December 2006 I had surgery to remove the tumor (colon resection), and I finished chemotherapy July 2007. It is taking time, but I feel better all the time. PLEASE GET YOUR COLONOSCOPY WHEN YOU TURN 50 or the first sign of bowel problems. IT IS MUCH EASIER THAN CHEMO/CANCER. Also, be sure to get a specialist doctor who not only checks for regular polyps, but also FLAT POLYPS TOO! This is a new discovery of why people develop colon cancer between checkups. No one was looking for flat polyps.

Anyway, my feet feel great!!! I still have to be careful and wear the right shoes, orthotics, etc. However, I am living a normal life without pain in my feet. It is wonderful!


I certainly would try the normal means of treatment first, such as foot yoga, ice, heat, massage, etc. However, if your feet are not responding (5% of the PF cases), then I would certainly recommend ESWT.

Unless, something changes, this will be my last post. I believe I have posted everything I tried and the results under this one post name: Re: Documenting My ESWT Beginning 04-28-05.

Good luck to you all.

Sincerely: Walkingirl (Janet A.)