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Shockwave Therapy vs Laser Therapy for Plantar Fasciitis


Plantar fasciitis is a common foot condition, often causing heel pain that can impact daily activities. This condition involves inflammation of the plantar fascia, a thick band of tissue that runs across the bottom of your foot and connects your heel bone to your toes. As you seek relief, you may encounter various treatments, with shockwave therapy and laser therapy standing out due to their non-invasive nature and promising results. Understanding the differences and effectiveness of shock wave therapy vs laser therapy for plantar fasciitis can help you make an informed decision about your treatment. 

Understanding Shockwave Therapy for Plantar Fasciitis

Understanding Shockwave Therapy for Plantar Fasciitis


Shockwave therapy is a non-invasive treatment that utilizes shock waves to promote the body’s natural healing process. While traditional forms of shockwave therapy induce microtrauma to stimulate repair, innovative options like SoftWave Therapy employ a unique approach. SoftWave Therapy uses unfocused shock waves to treat larger and deeper tissue areas without inducing microtrauma, making it a gentle yet effective alternative. This method is particularly beneficial for conditions like plantar fasciitis as it encourages blood flow, accelerates tissue regeneration, and reduces inflammation and pain. The procedure typically involves a series of outpatient sessions where shock waves are directed at the affected area. 

Recent studies, like the one published in the Journal of Foot and Ankle Surgery, have shown that shockwave therapy can effectively reduce pain, and improve function and overall quality of life in individuals with plantar fasciitis, making it a promising option for many sufferers.

Additional reading: Does shockwave therapy for plantar fasciitis really work? 

Laser Therapy for Plantar Fasciitis

Laser therapy, on the other hand, utilizes low-level lasers to target the affected area, promoting cellular regeneration and reducing inflammation and pain. This therapy is also non-invasive and involves a series of treatment sessions. While emerging evidence suggests that low-level laser therapy (LLLT) for plantar fasciitis may be beneficial, studies investigating its effectiveness are relatively scarce. However, a systematic review and meta-analysis have been conducted to assess whether LLLT significantly relieves pain in patients with plantar fasciitis, indicating that it can be an effective treatment option​

Shockwave Therapy vs. Laser Therapy

When comparing shockwave therapy and laser therapy, it’s crucial to consider several factors. Shockwave therapy has been proven to be particularly effective for chronic plantar fasciitis and is known for its ability to address the condition’s underlying causes. Laser therapy, while beneficial, may be more suitable for less severe cases or as part of a comprehensive treatment plan involving other therapies. 

The unique benefits of each include the following: 

Shockwave Therapy:

  • Deep Tissue Treatment: Effective in reaching deeper tissues, making it ideal for chronic conditions like plantar fasciitis.
  • Promotes Healing: Encourages the body’s healing processes, which can vary from microtrauma induction to other regenerative mechanisms, depending on the type of shockwave therapy.
  • Effective for Chronic Conditions: Has a strong track record in treating chronic cases of plantar fasciitis.

Laser Therapy:

  • Targeted Relief: Provides precise pain relief, especially for localized areas of inflammation.
  • Versatile: Well-suited for less severe cases or as a part of a multi-faceted treatment approach.
  • Quick and Convenient: Sessions are typically brief with minimal recovery time.

The success rates, duration of relief, and potential side effects can vary between individuals and should be discussed with a healthcare professional.

Learn more about Shockwave Vs Laser Therapy

Cost and Accessibility: Shockwave vs Laser Therapy

The Best Shockwave Therapy for Plantar Fasciitis


The cost of each treatment can vary widely depending on the location, healthcare provider, and the number of sessions required. While shockwave therapy might be more expensive upfront, its long-term benefits and effectiveness could make it a more cost-effective option in the long run. On the other hand, laser therapy might be more accessible and affordable but may require more sessions over time. Insurance coverage for these treatments also varies, so it’s essential to check with your provider.

Choosing the Right Plantar Fasciitis Treatment for You

When it comes to addressing plantar fasciitis, the choice between shockwave therapy, like the advanced SoftWave treatment, and laser therapy is a significant one. This decision should be tailored to your individual health needs. While we’ve highlighted the effectiveness of SoftWave therapy, especially in treating chronic conditions, it’s vital to consider various factors before making a decision. These include:

  • Your health history
  • The severity of your condition
  • Your personal preferences and lifestyle

Both shockwave and laser therapies offer unique benefits in the treatment of plantar fasciitis. By understanding the key differences, costs, and potential outcomes of each, you can make a more informed decision. However, it’s paramount to remember that the best course of action should always be determined in consultation with healthcare professionals. They can provide personalized advice and guidance, ensuring that the treatment you choose aligns perfectly with your health requirements and goals.

The Best Shockwave Therapy for Plantar Fasciitis

Are you looking for safe, reliable, and effective relief from plantar fasciitis? 

SoftWave therapy is FDA-cleared, patented, and nationally recognized for its leading tissue regeneration technology. Unlike other types of high-energy shockwave treatments, SoftWave is the only shockwave therapy on the market that uses true unfocused shock waves that treat larger and deeper areas of tissue. 

Thousands of patients have experienced the benefits of SoftWave for plantar fasciitis, including:

  • Little to no side effects
  • Short treatment time
  • Quick recovery
  • Long-lasting results

Find a SoftWave Therapy provider near you or learn more about SoftWave and whether or not you’re eligible for full treatment today!

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