Sometimes consistent heel pain will not respond well to simpler and more traditional forms of treatment. We are proud to provide more advanced treatment options when our patients need them most. Extracorporeal Pulse Activation Technology (EPAT) is one of those advanced treatments. And for patients with certain causes of acute or chronic pain, it can make a significant difference in finding comfort and accelerating recovery.
A Special Package for Heel Pain Relief
For patients who need both fast, effective recovery and a long-term solution to prevent recurring injury, our special heel pain package of EPAT and custom orthotics may be what you need! Learn more about this combo on our Products & Services Pricing page under Packages.
What is EPAT?
EPAT is a non-invasive form of regenerative treatment. It is designed to stimulate and aid the body’s natural healing responses.
EPAT is sometimes also referred to as “shockwave therapy,” but the “shock” part does not involve passing any electrical current through the body whatsoever. Instead, high-energy pressure waves are used to create a minor disruption at the site of an injury or soft tissue damage. The treatment does not cause any additional damage of its own.
When this disruption is formed, the body responds to it in several helpful ways:
- Cells increase their metabolism. In other words, they get jobs done faster – the most important ones here being repair and growth.
- Blood flow to the area increases. With that increase comes more growth factors, nutrients, and other elements the cells need to conduct their repairs.
- Pain is reduced. This can occur both by a temporary block of pain signals being transmitted by nerves as well as the ultimate results of healing.
- Barriers to complete healing can be broken down. If calcium has built up within micro-tears in soft tissues, the disruption of EPAT can break those deposits up and allow full healing to continue.
A primary benefit of EPAT treatment is that no drugs or other synthetic elements are required to achieve these results. EPAT is merely stimulating healing responses that already exist.
What Can EPAT Treat?
EPAT tends to provide the best results when treating many soft tissue injuries. Common conditions can include:
Specific sports injuries may also be very responsive to EPAT treatment.
At Joel Foster, DPM Podiatry, we may recommend EPAT to patients seeking relief when surgery is becoming a more likely option they may need to take. In some cases, EPAT has been able to keep a patient from having to undergo a surgical procedure.
However, EPAT will not always be a perfect fit for every situation. The circumstances surrounding each patient’s needs are different, and other options may be preferable or more likely to be effective. We only make recommendations for treatment once we have had the opportunity to evaluate each condition and case.
What Should I Expect During an EPAT Session in Lee's Summit?
A course of EPAT therapy is typically scheduled over several sessions. The treatment plan may span several weeks.
You'll need to come in for each session, which typically lasts less than 20 minutes. Your overall session length may differ depending on what is being treated and its severity.
There is nothing you need to prepare for before each session. You will simply have to lie back and relax. We will apply a gel to the treatment area so the EPAT device can make better contact with the skin and then begin to apply the pressure waves.
Some minor discomfort can be expected during the session. Many patients describe it as being snapped by a rubber band. It is typically not severely painful, but do not hesitate to tell us if it hurts more than you can endure! We can adjust the treatment if necessary.
After each session, we might recommend taking it a bit easy for the rest of the day and keeping your foot elevated when possible. Otherwise, there is nothing else you need to consider for aftercare.
Find Relief From Persistent Pain at Our Lee's Summit Podiatrist Office
EPAT is one potential route to effective relief for patients with consistent foot or heel pain. Other treatments are also available, and we always aim to recommend a plan that best meets your individual needs.
Don’t just try to bear your discomfort any longer. Take the first step and schedule an appointment with us here at our Lee's Summit office! Simply give us a call or fill out our online contact form to take the first step.