Gary Moller: [DipPhEd PGDipRehab PGDipSportMed(Otago)FCE Certified, Kordel's and Nutra-Life Certified Natural Health Consultant]. ICL Laboratories registered Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis and Medical Nutrition Consultant.

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Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy for Plantar Fasciitis

Gary;
Thank you very much. Yr answer was very helpful.
My ache is a bit high nowadays I don't know why, although there is no physical activity increase in my daily life. The problem is still with my left foot.
To tell you the truth, I am doing the stretching exercises a bit lazily.
What I heard is that there is a very new healing process called as ESWT Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy. But I am not sure if this really helps. If you have an idea abt this new technology, I will be very glad to know more about this.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plantar_fasciitis
Thanks & Best regards,

Turgut
__________________________________
Gary Moller comments:

"Conclusion We found no evidence to support a beneficial effect on pain, function, and quality of life of ultrasound-guided ESWT over placebo in patients with ultrasound-proven plantar fasciitis 6 and 12 weeks following treatment." Source: Ultrasound-Guided Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy for Plantar Fasciitis JAMA 2002

I am naturally sceptical of extremely expensive machines that are promoted as easy sources of revenues for health practices. This is cost-plus medicine that is unsustainable.

While this machine works to some degree, I would contend that it is no better than a good
deep tissue massage by an experienced therapist. The only difference is that it is dead easy for the therapist who has only to set the machine up, set the timer and away it goes. A good massage is hard work and takes time to do properly.

When a therapist starts work in a clinic for the first time he or she will be instructed that there is a 10 or 15 minute limit of contact time per patient after the first appointment (Total appointment time is usually 20 minutes). The only solution for this kind of limited production-line format of medicine is to resort to machines that are set up, turned on and left, allowing the therapist to flit from one patient to the next. And to do so without wearing out his or her hands! This is not good medicine.

Machines such as the shock wave ones are like most drugs: They do not deal with the underlying causes of ailments like plantar fasciitis such as overweight, muscle weakness, poor posture, poor footwear and poor sporting technique. These must all be addressed for there to be lasting relief and these take time. Sadly, we will see the proliferation of machines like these in modern times.

I am reminded of the proliferation of bone density testing machines in clinics around the country: First, invent the technology; then beat up the disease in the media (osteoporosis) and then sell the poor patient the terribly harmful drugs to counter the disease, thus causing even more disease - a very tidy business package indeed!

Too much medicine is little more than a cynical money-go-round between health professionals, emptying their patients' bank accounts as they go and doing little to improve health.


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