Extracorporeal pulse activation treatment (EPAT) is commonly known as shockwave therapy and is a noninvasive treatment, using acoustic sound waves to invigorate an injured area to enhance healing. It does this by using high intensity sound waves, which physically irritates an injured tendon, ligament, or other soft tissue structure This creates an inflammatory reaction which causes the transportation of inflammatory cells and growth factors (proteins) to the affected area, allowing it to heal.
The EPAT treatment system has extensive clinical studies and tests confirming its safety and efficacy. At our office, we use shockwave to stimulate common injuries such as Achilles tendonitis and plantar fasciitis as well as chronic shin splints. This is performed by placing a wand over the area of injury and administrating approximately 5000 pulses of shockwaves over a 5-minute period. Typically, three treatments are administered one week apart. There is no need for anesthesia during the procedures. For those patients that are hypersensitive to pain, we offer a V-Actor treatment, which is a gentle form of the EPAT.
Several years ago, shockwave was a covered procedure under many insurance plans; however, the insurance companies now consider this treatment as investigational and/or experimental. Despite this, our office has made this procedure extremely cost effective. The success rate of EPAT has proven equal or greater than that of many surgical methods without the risks, complications, and lengthy recovery time. Patients bear weight immediately after the procedure and many returns to normal activity the following day. In fact, most of our athletes reduce their level of activity for just a few days even though we provide an intense EPAT treatment.
Patient's return to work the same day and are immediately full weightbearing. Our patients are reevaluated three weeks after the last treatment and if there is any residual pain, a series of three additional treatments are performed at no additional cost to further boost reduction in pain.
EPAT treatment expedites healing of newer injuries and reinvigorates healing of old chronic injuries. EPAT shockwave increases the availability of growth factors (proteins) at the site of injury allowing for your body's own natural healing process to occur. EPAT is a proprietary technology based on a unique set of pressure waves that stimulate and accelerate the healing process of damaged tissues. Our office has extensive knowledge and special training on EPAT technology and usage.Should you or someone you known experience pain and desire treatment, please do not hesitate to contact our office.
Written by Richard T. Braver, DPM, FACFAS
Photos courtesy of Richard T. Braver, DPM