Shockwave therapy really isn’t a new technology. It has been around since the 60’s. The technology was first used in to break up kidney stones and is still widely used today and is called lithotripsy. Orthopedic use of this technology was FDA approved back in 2000. Extracorporeal shockwave therapy or ESWT has been used in my office since 2002 with some great results. The ESWT technology was old and outdated and we were required to use local anesthesia and it was a long treatment time and we often used boots as part of the recovery so over time we looked for newer and better options.
The US National Library of Medicine/National Institutes of Health released its first abstract on the benefits of Extracorporeal Pulse Activated Therapy (EPAT) for the treatment of plantar fasciitis in 2012. The researchers concluded that results of EPAT treatment on patients with chronic recalcitrant plantar fasciitis, in particular patients with chronic symptoms for more than 12 months, showed significant improvement. EPAT treatment effectively decreased plantar fascia thickness and patient pain. Shocking? Literally.
NM Foot and Ankle Institute has been using a shockwave for treatment in patients since 2002. However, in January of 2018 we introduced this new EPAT technology into the practice. Our new shockwave (also known as pressure wave therapy) was introduced to the practice because this new and improved technology means that no numbing is required and with three short treatments recovery is easier and doesn’t require you to be off of your feet at all. Because foot and heel pain is typically caused by plantar fasciitis, patients suffering from this condition are thrilled to learn that relief from pain is available without the inconvenience of surgery or having to take time off of work. Some patients report improvement after only one treatment, while others report the pain subsided after 4 weeks. Overall, 85% of patients report they are pain free or enjoy significant pain reduction within 12 weeks.
Sessions take between 10 to 20 minutes on average depending on if you are having treatment on one or both feet. The recommended treatment is one treatment a week for three consecutive weeks.
Extracorporeal means non-invasive. No anesthesia is involved. Extracorporeal Pulse Activation Technology is the most advanced treatment being used today in lieu of surgery. It eliminates the requirement of rehab after surgery, and patients are able to bear their weight immediately and can return to their normal activity within days of the EPAT treatment.
Other benefits of the unique EPAT treatment is that it stimulates the metabolism, enhances blood circulation and accelerates the healing process. The damaged tissue gradually regenerates and eventually heals.
Don’t live life in pain! Contact New Mexico Foot & Ankle Institute today at (505)880-1000 for an appointment to discuss pressure wave therapy treatment to treat your plantar fasciitis!
We take care of your feet…so that they’ll take care of you!
By Nathan Ivey, DPM