What is Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy?

There are many ways to treat various foot ailments. One of the latest techniques is something called Extracorporeal Shockwave therapy. Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy, or ESWT, is the noninvasive use of sound waves to spur cell growth and healing. The application of sound waves was first used as a way to break up kidney stones in a treatment calledWhen doctors noticed bone and tissue growth as a result of, the same idea was applied to healing such conditions as plantar fasciitis and Achilles tendonitis.

How effective is ESWT? It has been reported that one group of patients treated for plantar fasciitis were healed 92% of the time after one treatment. Another study showed that pain reduction also dropped by 92% with an average pain rating of 7.7 before ESWT on a scale of 1 – 10 was 0.6 after. Your healing time may vary.

ESWT is usually only applied if other more conservative treatments have failed such as physical therapy, steroids, anti-inflammatory medications, stabilizing braces, ice or orthotics.

Benefits of ESWT include:

  • Unlike surgery, where an incision would have to be made, of sound waves is through the unbroken skin
  • A high rate of healing – good track record of success
  • Not usually a long-term treatment -  treatments can be as little as one or two sessions from 5 to 18 minutes long with a second treatment 10 to 12 weeks later
  • Does not require time off from work – no time needed to stay off your feet and
  • Little or no risk of further damage – treatments are applied to the area needed only

Your podiatrist will sit you down, make sure you’re comfortable, administer a local anesthetic and begin the treatment. The machine makes a clicking sound but is not painful. You may experience some soreness after, but it will go away. ESWT is not recommended for people with diabetes, are pregnant, have ulcers or sores, nerve damage in the affected area, have a heart condition or a history of seizures.

If you believe ESWT may benefit you or have any other concerns about the health of your feet, make an appointment with us here at Gentle Touch Footcare. Our doctors Bruce Theall, DPM and Priscilla Seshie, DPM will diagnose your feet and apply the most appropriate treatment. Our offices are located at 310 Central Avenue East, Orange, NJ, 07018. Our phone number is 973-673-3668 and our website is www.drtheall.com.   

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