Shockwave therapy (sometimes referred to as extracorporeal pulse activation technology, or EPAT) is an advanced form of treatment we may recommend for patients experiencing certain types of foot or heel pain.
This highly effective, non-invasive technology provides a variety of benefits for our patients, including pain relief and accelerated healing of soft tissue damage.
This page is intended to answer many common questions about shockwave therapy, but please never hesitate to ask us any additional questions you may have about this treatment. We’ll be happy to discuss it with you!
What is Shockwave Therapy?
Shockwave therapy is a form of regenerative medicine, meaning that it relies on stimulating the body’s own natural responses and processes to provide results. No drugs or invasive procedures are part of this treatment.
Although “shock” is in the title, shockwave treatments do not involve electricity. The “shockwave” instead comes from high-energy acoustic pressure waves.
As these pressure waves are sent into an area of soft tissue damage, it causes a minor disruption that the body responds to in several beneficial ways:
- Accelerating certain cellular processes, including those that conduct tissue repairs.
- Increasing blood flow to the area, which often includes the construction of capillaries, the tiniest blood vessels. Increased blood flow and access means cells get more of the nutrients and growth factors they need to perform their repairs and other processes.
- Breakup of calcified fibroblasts. Calcium build-up can occur in micro-tears and other injuries to soft tissues. Shockwaves can break these build-ups apart, providing more opportunity for healing.
- Reducing neurotransmitters that cause pain, particularly those associated with intense and/or persistent pain.
In short, the goals of shockwave therapy are to reduce pain, remove barriers to recovery, and accelerate the healing process.
What Conditions Can Shockwave Therapy Treat?
Shockwave therapy has many potential treatment applications, but can be particularly effective for soft tissue injuries. This includes (but isn’t limited to):
- Plantar Fasciitis
- Achilles Tendinitis
Please note, however, that we may not always recommend this form of therapy for every instance of the above conditions, or others. We make recommendations based on a thorough evaluation of your condition and circumstances, and an alternative treatment may be preferable. This is why we are experts in a wide variety of treatments to meet many individual needs!
What to Expect from Shockwave Therapy?
A course of shockwave treatment typically consists of several sessions scheduled out over a few weeks. Each session lasts about 5-10 minutes, depending on the scope of what must be treated.
During a session, we will apply a gel to the treatment area to enhance the contact of our shockwave device.
Pressure waves are then introduced to the area. Some patients report minor discomfort during this time, as if a rubber band is being snapped against their skin. If you are feeling too much discomfort, however, please do not hesitate to let us know! We can often make adjustments to help things feel better for you.
Depending on the location of the treatment and other circumstances, we might recommend that you keep your foot rested and elevated for the remainder of the day. You might also need someone to drive you home. We will inform you of everything you will need to know to prepare for before and after a session, if needed.
You Deserve a Wave of Relief
Whether shockwave therapy or another form of treatment is best suited for your foot or heel pain, don’t wait any longer to take the steps you need to address your underlying problem. The sooner you take action, the sooner you can find relief, and the less risk you have of a problem becoming worse or longer-lasting.
Call Massapequa Podiatry Associates at (516) 541-9000 or fill out our online contact form to schedule an appointment with us.