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Radial Shockwave Therapy for Achilles Tendon and Plantar Fasciitis – Case Study

Do you suffer with pain in your heel or under your foot? Has it come on gradually? Is it stiff in the morning? Does it hurt with walking or running? Does it feel like a burning sensation?

You may be suffering with Achilles Tendinopathy and/or Plantar Fasciitis. Continue reading to see a case study of one of Jenie’s patients suffering with these problems and how Radial Shockwave therapy can help! 


Denise came into the clinic with pain in her right heel, Achilles tendon and bottom of the foot. The pain started when she increased her miles whilst training for the London Marathon and was aggravated by walking and running. She noticed that it was very stiff and sore first thing in the morning. During her first session, Jenie went through a full assessment. This involved sitting down and discussing her symptoms to begin with before going through a physical examination of the painful area. In the assessment, Denise had pain when going up on her toes, the heel was hot to the touch, there was tightness to the calf muscle and pain on the bottom of the foot. She reported her pain as a 5/10 to touch the right Achilles tendon and 8-9/10 pain to the right heel bone.

A diagnosis of Achilles Tendinopathy and Plantar Fasciitis was given. These are overuse injuries that are very common in runners or people that spend a lot of time on their feet. There is an association with poor footwear, foot posture and muscle imbalances.

Radial Shockwave is form of treatment used here at the clinic for soft tissue injuries and is widely regarded as an elite-level treatment. It uses pulses of energy to stimulate a healing process. It can be uncomfortable but not painful and most people get immediately improved symptoms.

Jenie started a course of Radial Shockwave therapy with Denise even in her first session on a low setting. The treatment only takes around five minutes. She was provided with massage and a home exercise programme which is individually tailored to each patient and their symptoms. Education was provided on how to manage the injury and on modifying her activity levels, so she doesn’t aggravate her injury further.

The following week Denise returned for her next session. She initially felt a little sore after the first Shockwave treatment the week before but then progressively improved. This is the normal pattern for Shockwave and Jenie reassured Denise’s concerns. She received another dose of Shockwave along with some additional treatment for pain relief and to decrease muscle tension. Jenie also gave her a small gel cushion to put into her shoe to take the pressure off her heel.

Denise had two more sessions over the following two weeks of the same treatment and was noticing a constant improvement particularly with walking. Exercises were progressed and strengthening exercises were started. Jenie also advised her that she was able to increase her walking.

Session five occurred two weeks later, Denise had completely taken out the gel heel cushion in her shoes and had returned to some gentle gym work. She was no longer noticing stiffness and pain in the morning but could still notice some soreness in the area after being on her feet all day at work. Denise now rated her pain as only a 1/10 whilst pushing on the heel bone. This time, Jenie increased the power of the Shockwave, initially Denise would have found this too much at the start of her treatment programme. She was also advised that she could gently return to and gradually increase her running over the next couple of weeks. This is a gradual process to allow the body to adapt to running and prevent any further injury.

In session six, another two weeks later, Denise received Shockwave on an even higher setting, as well as being given the green light to full running. As you can imagine, she was extremely happy about it!

Her final session was three weeks later. Denise had increased her running mileage and had no pain at all. She was very happy overall and just glad to be pain-free and back to doing what she loved. Jenie advised her for the future regarding the injury and to pop back in it flares up at all. Best to nip it in the bud before it gets worse!

Denise had been struggling with this injury for over a year; seven sessions of Radial Shockwave therapy completely resolved her pain and had got her back to running!

If you recognise any of the above, then book an appointment on 01279 414 959 to get pain free!

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