Are you grappling with persistent foot pain? Does it seem like you've tried every possible remedy, yet the pain lingers? Extracorporeal Pulse Activation Technology (EPAT) may be the treatment option you need to get back to your active lifestyle.
Lee's Summit podiatrist Dr. Joel Foster often recommends EPAT therapy as a non-invasive treatment for foot, heel, and ankle pain. Our office offers a special package of EPAT and custom orthotics that provides both fast, effective recovery and a long-term solution to prevent recurring injury. And, since we use a direct-pay model that puts decision-making power back in the hands of our patients, you are free to choose EPAT treatment without worrying about the arbitrary limitations placed on you by your insurance company.
What Is Extracorporeal Pulse Activation Technology?
Also known as shockwave therapy, EPAT is a non-invasive medical treatment method that uses high-energy acoustic pressure waves to stimulate the body's natural healing processes. EPAT was originally developed for treating kidney stones but has found remarkable success in treating heel pain or foot and ankle pain.
How Does EPAT Work?
The acoustic waves delivered during EPAT treatment sessions create controlled microtrauma in the targeted tissues. This may sound counterintuitive, but it's a key part of the healing process because it helps enhance blood circulation, promotes cellular repair, and treats pain.
Increased Blood Circulation
The microtrauma induced by EPAT's high-energy sound waves stimulates increased blood flow to the area. Improving blood circulation is crucial because blood carries essential nutrients and healing factors to injured tissues.
With enhanced blood flow, your body's natural healing mechanisms kick into high gear. This includes the production of collagen, a protein that plays a vital role as damaged tissue gradually regenerates.
As the damaged tissues heal and regenerate, you'll likely experience a significant reduction in chronic pain. A course of EPAT therapy is typically scheduled over several sessions, and your mobility should continue to improve after each session.
What Are the Benefits of EPAT?
Now that you have a clearer picture of what EPAT is and how it works, let's explore the potential benefits that might make it the right choice for you.
EPAT is a non-invasive treatment, which means no surgery is involved. If you prefer non-surgical solutions, EPAT might align with your goals.
Minimal Side Effects
Compared to surgical options, EPAT typically has minimal side effects. You may experience some mild discomfort during the treatment, but this is usually temporary. Many of our patients compare the treatment to the sensation of being snapped by a rubber band.
Little to No Downtime
EPAT treatments typically last less than 20 minutes and require little to no downtime. In fact, in almost all cases, patients can resume their daily activities immediately after a session.
Effective Pain Relief
Individual results will differ, but Dr. Foster has consistently seen that patients treated with EPAT therapy report immediate pain relief from a temporary block of pain signals being transmitted by nerves. This is followed by continued improvement as the affected area eventually heals.
What Foot Conditions Can EPAT Treat?
EPAT has shown promise in treating a wide range of foot and ankle conditions.
Plantar fasciitis is one of the most prevalent causes of heel pain. It occurs when the plantar fascia, a band of tissue that runs along the bottom of your foot, becomes thickened or damaged. EPAT can help treat plantar fasciitis pain by stimulating the healing process in the affected area. In almost all cases, it can help patients avoid surgery. In fact, since his office began offering EPAT and other advanced treatment options, Dr. Foster has not needed to perform one surgical procedure related to plantar fascial pain.
Achilles tendinitis involves inflammation of the Achilles tendon, which connects your calf muscles to your heel bone. EPAT can encourage the healing of this tendon, reducing pain and improving mobility.
Morton's neuroma is a painful condition that affects the ball of the foot, usually between the third and fourth toes. EPAT can help alleviate the discomfort associated with this condition.
Stress fractures, which are tiny cracks in the bones of the foot, can cause pain radiating throughout the affected area and limit your mobility. EPAT can expedite the healing process and help you get back on your feet faster.
Other Musculoskeletal Issues
EPAT has been used to address various musculoskeletal problems in the feet, such as ligament and muscle injuries. Athletes with sports injuries often turn to EPAT therapy to help them get back to training as quickly as possible.