Walker, Plantar Fasciitis

Ian Stewart Shockwave success story Plantar fasciitis.JPG

Ian Stewart, Age 67,

Condition: Plantar Fasciitis

Treated at How Clinic, Edinburgh

Device: Storz MP200 RSW

How long have you had / did you have symptoms?

Off and on over the past 10 years. Symptoms were acute pain in the right heal making it uncomfortable walking . Mornings were characterised by limping on the right leg for several minutes. I had a lesser but similar pain in my left heel.

How did it impact your life / sport / physical activity?

Initially it was a case of discomfort while hill walking which I addressed by using Sorbothane shock absorbing heel pads and assorted types of specialist insoles. My life long hobbies are all outdoor in nature, hill walking, climbing, gardening and fly fishing. All involved significant hikes. After retiring from a 40 year professional life I had, in retirement, set up a successful Fly Fishing Guiding business and also co-authored a unique walking book which also sells well.

Over time these mitigating products did not offer the relief I required and the pain intensified. Two years ago, at the age of 64, I consulted my GP. He confirmed my condition as Planters Fasciitis and that the condition was partly “age related”, for which there was little that I could do, gave me some exercises  but also recommended that I consider  ending  my commercial fly fishing business activities as my condition was also occupational. You see I had identified, from my own observation, that my condition got much worse, not so much  from walking, but from standing over long periods. You see, when tutoring or ghillieing with a fly fishing client, I could be standing for long periods of up to 8 hours. At its worst, the following day, after such an engagement I would be hobbling in pain most of that day. I therefore, on doctors’ advice, closed my guiding business.

What other treatments did you try prior to Shockwave Therapy?

As mentioned , Sorbothane heel pads, various specialist insoles and eventually a Doctors diagnosis which included some stretching exercises.

How did you find the Shockwave Therapy treatment ?

I found it totally by accident. Although I had “retired” from my fly fishing guiding business I had a very persistent enquirer who, in my less than best judgement, I agreed to take out for a day’s fishing last year. This on a “non-commercial” basis as my business was no longer active. It was during this outing that he noticed my limping. He asked what was my condition and when I told him he said that he had had the same condition and had it totally cured using Shockwave Therapy. I had never heard of it prior to this encounter. He further advised that his son in law and family were on holiday here with him and that he was a physio with the England Football team and it was he who had recommended the treatment. He arranged for his son in law to call at my house and he recommended that I under go Shockwave Therapy.

How many sessions of Shockwave Therapy did you have ?

To date I have had 6 treatments. These were administered as four one hour sessions over four consecutive weeks followed by one per month over the next two months and now scheduled as one treatment every two months. Helen has recommended I continue to attend over a 12 month period. I intend to do so.

How was it during the Shockwave treatment? 

It was very comfortable, not at all painful, just a mild sensation.

How was it immediately after treatment ?

I felt some relief from the very first session. You see, by the time of my first referral to Helen the heel felt as though there was a “tight ball” in the deep centre. It was here that I felt, almost instantaneously, that “something” was happening, and that “something” was beneficial.

How long since your last session of Shockwave Therapy?

Four weeks.

How is the condition now and how has it improved your life / sport / physical activity?

Much improved, I no longer “hobble” on my heel when getting out of bed in the morning. I am back hillwalking, not the full day hikes of old but fairly stiff hikes of 4 /5 hours and some rough ground ascents. The fly fishing business is of course closed and I have no intentions to re open that activity but that is down to my now age of 67. I have recommenced fly fishing to my own account however without symptoms to date. I do still have mild discomfort from time to time, often associated with gardening when I do a lot of kneeling and bending, incurring stretching to the ankle and heel.

Would you recommend Shockwave Therapy to others with this condition or similar conditions?

Certainly and I have already on many occasions.

Ian Stewart is Author of "Trig Point Walks" on the Isle of Skye and Raasay