Nonsurgical Foot Treatments
Whenever possible, your treatment for a foot, toe, or ankle condition starts with conservative options at EvergreenHealth Foot and Ankle Care. That's because nonsurgical approaches carry less risk and require less recovery time than surgery. They're also often the most effective way to relieve your symptoms and prevent them from returning.
Depending on your condition, you may benefit from one or more of these:
- Rest, ice, compression, and elevation (RICE) method right after your injury
- Lifestyle changes, such as reducing your activity level, switching to a different type of exercise, or getting a job that puts less stress on your feet
- Physical therapy, which may use exercise, stretches, and hands-on techniques to improve strength and flexibility while reducing pain
- Orthotic devices (shoe inserts) customized for your foot shape and condition
- Casts or braces to prevent or limit motion that could worsen an injury
- Medications you take by mouth or receive via injection to relieve pain and inflammation
Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy (ESWT)
ESWT sends sound waves from outside your body into an injured area of your foot to reduce pain and promote healing. It most often treats plantar fasciitis, especially if other treatments haven't relieved heel pain.
How to Prepare
If your EvergreenHealth doctor determines you're a good candidate for ESWT, you'll need to stop taking anti-inflammatory drugs for five days before treatment.
What to Expect
You may receive sedation to relax you and a local anesthetic to prevent pain in your foot before treatment. We'll then place your foot on the ESWT machine, which delivers sound waves for about 30 minutes.
You may need several treatment sessions.
After Shock Wave Therapy
You can go home after each treatment session, but will need someone to drive you if you received sedation. Follow your care team's instructions for recovering at home. You may need to:
- Rest, keep your foot up, and avoid heavy lifting
- Do gentle stretches the day after each treatment
- Avoid taking ibuprofen, aspirin, and other anti-inflammatory drugs for four weeks
- Wear supportive shoes and sometimes shoe inserts
Don't use your foot sooner or more often than your doctor allows. ESWT blocks pain signals, so you may think you're ready to be active again even before your foot heals. Don't use your foot sooner or more often than your doctor recommends.
Side Effects of ESWT
Shock wave therapy may cause some bruising, swelling, or pain for a short time. Ask your doctor how to reduce and manage side effects.
Foot & Ankle Surgery
If your condition requires foot or ankle surgery, you'll appreciate the expertise of EvergreenHealth podiatric surgeons. They use the latest techniques and the least invasive approaches to help you achieve your best long-term outcome.