Shockwave Therapy

What is Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy (ESWT)?
Shockwave Therapy is known for its use by urologists to treat kidney stones. In October of 2000 the FDA issued approval of ESWT for the treatment of plantar fasciitis (heel or arch pain). Do not let the name alarm you; simple sound waves are used to treat the heel pain on an outpatient basis. An important benefit of ESWT is that it is delivered from outside the body; so many of the risks associated with surgery are eliminated.

How does ESWT work?
Sound waves are applied to the painful area of the heel using an orthopedic shockwave device (as shown).

This in turn leads to increased blood flow to the area that triggers the body's repair abilities to create tendon healing. The sound waves over stimulate the nerves to reduce the sensitivity and pain.

Who would benefit from this new treatment?
People who have suffered from chronic heel pain for at least 6 months and have tried other methods for treating it. Other methods for treatment may include stretching, icing, anti-inflammatory drugs, taping, orthotics, night splints, rest, changes in shoe gear, padding and cortisone injection(s).

What will happen on the day of ESWT?
The treatment is non-invasive; there is no cutting of tissues or skin. Local anesthesia will be administered before the treatment begins. The entire procedure usually takes less than 30 minutes and is performed on an outpatient basis. There is no hospital stay required.

What can I expect after the ESWT treatment?
After a patient is discharged they may experience some discomfort, bruising, and swelling for a few days. The doctor may prescribe a mild pain medication and orthotics. Also, the doctor may tell you to restrict stressful activities, such as running, sports, or carrying heavy loads, for up to four weeks. A follow up visit with your doctor should be scheduled for three to six weeks after the treatment.

What are the benefits and risks involved with ESWT?
Based on worldwide medical experience, extracorporeal shockwave therapy is a safe and effective alternative to the traditional treatment methods available. There are very few side effects or risks involved in ESWT. The most common patient complaint is some discomfort during and after the treatment. Other side effects include numbness, tingling, reddening or bruising in the treated foot. Some patients will experience pain, which may last from a few days to weeks after the treatment. If you have more questions about the treatment, or would like to be evaluated to see if you are a candidate for it, please contact us at 1-800-255-5779 and arrange for an appointment with one of our doctors.

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