Does Medicare Cover Shock Wave Therapy for Plantar Fasciitis?
Fair Square Medicare

Does Medicare Cover Shock Wave Therapy for Plantar Fasciitis?

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By Daniel Petkevich

Nov 30, 2022

Currently no, but there are alternative treatments

For Medicare beneficiaries looking for treatment for plantar fasciitis, you might need to look elsewhere. Medicare has determined that shock wave therapy is not considered medically necessary, so it is unlikely that you will get coverage. But don't worry, there are some alternatives to pursue, which we will discuss below.

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What is plantar fasciitis and what are the symptoms?

Plantar fasciitis, also known as "policeman's heel," is an inflammation of the plantar fascia, which is a band of tissue that runs along the bottom of the foot from the heel to the ball. Symptoms of plantar fasciitis include pain in the heel and arch, especially when standing or walking after resting.

What is shock wave therapy and how does it work?

Shock wave therapy is a non-invasive treatment for plantar fasciitis. A handheld device delivers high-energy sound waves into the affected area, which can help reduce inflammation and promote healing.

Does Medicare cover shock wave therapy for plantar fasciitis?

Unfortunately, Medicare does not cover shock wave therapy for plantar fasciitis. The determination is that it is not reasonable or medically necessary.

Alternatives to shock wave therapy for plantar fasciitis

If you are looking for treatment options for plantar fasciitis, there are alternatives to shock wave therapy. Some of the most common treatments include rest, stretching exercises, physical therapy, orthotics, and anti-inflammatory medications. Additionally, some people may benefit from shockwave therapy with an off-label use certification from their doctor.

How to treat plantar fasciitis without surgery or shock wave therapy

There are a few options if you are looking for ways to treat plantar fasciitis without surgery or shock wave therapy. Stretching exercises and physical therapy can help strengthen the muscles in the foot, reduce inflammation, and alleviate pain. Additionally, orthotics can help support the arch of your foot and cushion it from impact when walking. Anti-inflammatory medications, such as ibuprofen, can also help reduce pain and inflammation.


While Medicare does not cover shock wave therapy for plantar fasciitis, other treatment options are available. Be sure to talk with your doctor about the best course of action for you before you try shock therapy or any treatment for plantar fasciitis. This content is for informational purposes only. With proper care and treatment, you can relieve the pain associated with plantar fasciitis and get back to living your life. Give us a call if you have any Medicare-related questions. Our experts are ready to help.

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Join the Fair Square Medicare Newsletter to stay informed on cost savings, changes to Medicare, and other valuable healthcare information.

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