ESWT (Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy)
What is ECSWT and What is it Used For?
Extracorporeal shock wave therapy (ESWT) or Extracorporeal pulse activated therapy (EPAT) is a non-invasive evidence-base treatment option for patients suffering from acute or chronic musculoskeletal injuries. It uses low energy sound waves on target tissue. This leads to an increase in blood flow which in turn increases the migration of growth factors promoting healing. Common conditions it is used for: plantar fasciitis, achilles tendonitis, plantar plate injuries, posterior tibial tendonitis, nerve pain, Stress fractures, acute muscle injuries, sesamoiditis, medial tibial stress syndrome (shin splints), and wound care.
What to Expect
This is a non-invasive treatment that takes less than 20 minutes in the office. It requires no anesthesia. The area of pain is desensitized with some introductory shocks at a very low energy. The energy is then gradually increased to create mild tenderness at the site. This is well tolerated by most people. Patient is given a total of 2000 shocks a session. Patients may require anywhere between 3-6 sessions. These are performed once a week. It can take 6-12 weeks before one feels the full effects of treatment. Patients may find that they have some mild tenderness at the site with redness. We encourage continued stretching and icing after therapy.
Is the Procedure Safe?
This is a safe and clinically proven solution to help with foot pain without steroid injections or surgery. Most risk include swelling, bruising, and tenderness at the site of the treatment. The literature supports this treatment as a viable option for most chronic foot pain issues. See https://www.jfas.org/article/S1067-2516(20)30335-5/fulltext for current articles.
How often is ESWT done?
We typically recommend a minimum of 3-4 session for optimal results. Each session is usually completed weekly over a total of 3-4 weeks. Following the treatment course, you will be scheduled for a follow up with one of our providers to evaluate before booking more sessions. It can take about 3 months for the treatment to provide maximal benefit.
Most insurance companies do NOT typically pay for ESWT sessions. If your insurance should apply any amount of those charges to patient responsibility (copay, coinsurance, deductible, etc.) then you will be responsible for those charges. The price of the extra corporal shock wave therapy covers the cost of the machine, processing, and the actual treatment.
One of our providers will assess your condition and determine if ESWT is the right course of action for you. East Point Foot and Ankle offers both traditional and innovative alternative treatments. Call us at 413-525-5200 or request an appointment on our website to get started today.