The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has issued full guidance to the NHS in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland on extracorporeal shockwave therapy for refractory plantar fasciitis.
Guidance has also been issued on Extracorporeal shockwave therapy for refractory Achilles tendinopathy and Extracorporeal shockwave therapy for refractory tennis elbow. It replaces the previous guidance on Extracorporeal shockwave therapy for refractory tendinopathies (plantar fasciitis and tennis elbow) (NICE interventional procedure guidance 139, November 2005).
Plantar fasciitis is a painful condition affecting the connective tissue that stretches between the heel and the middle of the foot. It is usually caused by overuse, injury or muscular abnormalities. In extracorporeal shockwave therapy, a machine is used to deliver sound waves to the painful area. It is not known exactly how it works, but it is thought that it might stimulate healing of the fascia.