Non-invasive ways of dealing with soft tissue pain

Soft tissue injuries normally heal by themselves. But, sometimes due to a number of circumstances this is not the case and these injuries can become chronic.

When dealing with chronic soft tissue pain, as podiatrists we can use many different methods of treatment. Conservative, non-invasive procedures can be a good choice for patients as they are an alternative to surgery with minimal downtime.

When we talk about conservative treatments, extracorporeal shockwave therapy and low-level laser therapy are both methods that we use in the clinic to help the body recover from previous injuries and to reduce overall discomfort.

Extracorporeal shockwave therapy is a non-surgical procedure which aims to deliver impulses of energy to the damaged tissue. This is quite often used as a secondary line of treatment when strapping or other conservative measures have failed to deliver the designated outcome. The impulses increase blood flow to the area which stimulates cell regeneration and healing as well as decreasing local factors which cause the pain. This kind of treatment is very useful for achilles tendinopathies and plantar fasciitis. There has even been evidence to suggest that it is a viable alternative to surgery in fibromas.

During shockwave therapy you may feel a bit of discomfort over the affected area, however after a course of treatment the aim is for the original discomfort to subdue substantially. We will most likely couple this treatment with Orthotic devices and muscle tape strapping to give the body the best chance to heal.

Low level laser therapy is another non-surgical alternative which aims to get the body healing quicker and more efficiently. Low level laser therapy uses beams of electromagnetic waves in a single frequency and defined wavelength to promote tissue healing and pain relief. We can use this treatment to do things such as bring down inflammation due to the input of extra energy into the area which stimulates blood supply or even assist in regeneration of nerves. Low level laser therapy can also be used for verrucae, and we especially favour using it in our treatment plans with children as it is a painless procedure.

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