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Medical Edge: Heel pain therapy

CINCINNATI (Liz Bonis) -- It's one of the top reasons people are sidelined from walking or running; heel pain. But a therapy now at the Center for Footcare in the Tri-State might help cure it. Denise Napier is a patient there and said, "It felt kinda like I had a little pebble in my shoe when I would step down. Felt like there was a little rock I just couldn't get rid of it though."Napier had done everything medically possible to get rid of heel pain but still when she would get up in the morning it would be really tight and she would limp. So she recently made the decision to try a therapy that Dr. Kris Titko said has been around awhile but was becoming more available right in the podiatrist's office.Dr. Titko said, "It is called the ESWT machine, and it stands for Extra Caporeal Shock Wave therapy. It sounds like shock therapy for the brain; it's not like shock therapy for the brain. It's actually sound waves and the sound waves penetrate or hit the foot which breaks up scar tissue that's inside, putting a chronic problem such as heel pain into an acute injury so the body can repair itself."The repair couldn't come soon enough for Napier, "I do a lot of fitness activities. I do Zumba and cardio kickboxing and a lot of strength training and I am really excited to get back to that."The two indications that the ESWT machine has for the foot and ankle is plantar fasciitis, or heel spur syndrome, and insertional Achilles tendonitis, where the Achilles tendon attaches to the back of the heel which can be wickedly painful.The treatment, which is approved by the Food and Drug Administration by the Food and Drug Administration for the two different problems, is not yet covered by medical insurance plans. But the idea behind it is that it's used once and success rates are similar to that of surgery.Surgery of course has risks that the ESWT does not like infection, scarring and longer healing time. It cost about $1,800 and is suggested if people are considering surgery.CLICK HERE for a link to the Center for Footcare.

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