Shockwave treatment, also known as Extracorporeal Pulse Activation Treatment (EPAT), is a new, FDA-approved treatment for acute and chronic foot pain. With Shockwave treatment, a device is used to deliver pressure waves to the foot and stimulate blood flow, thereby speeding the healing process and reducing or eliminating foot pain.
The Shockwave treatment is similar to lithotripsy treatment for breaking up kidney stones. EPAT can treat foot conditions such as Plantar fascitis, Achilles tendonitis, heel spurs, sports injuries, and many other foot conditions.
It is non-invasive and completed in a series of short office visits. There are no incisions and no anesthesia required, therefore no additional healing time is involved. You may even experience immediate pain relief, though it may also take several more visits to experience the full results. The results are usually very long lasting.
Your podiatrist will decide if Shockwave treatment is right for you, but candidates generally include those who have experienced chronic foot pain for several months without relief from traditional treatments. Shockwave treatment may also enhance traditional treatment methods to reduce recovery times. Other candidates include those who need to return quickly to work or to physical activity.
Though Shockwave therapy is generally considered safe and non-invasive, it may not be recommended for pregnant women, children, or those with blood-clotting disorders. Otherwise, generally anyone suffering from conditions such as Achilles tendonitis, heel spur syndrome, or plantar fascitis is a candidate for EPAT.
This new treatment can not only reduce or eliminate foot pain, it can also reduce time away from work or activities. It may also save time and money over traditional treatment methods such as medications, injections, or even surgeries. If you experience foot pain, talk to your podiatrist to see if you are a candidate for Shockwave treatment.