Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy (ESWT) is a procedure that is typically used to treat chronic heel pain (or plantar fasciitis). "Extracorporeal" means "outside of the body” and alludes to the nonsurgical nature of ESWT.
Here are 5 facts about ESWT that may answer some of your questions and help to determine if this therapy is right for you.
1.ESWT is a fast, powerful, and noninvasive alternative to surgery.
Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy employs a device that generates strong sonic waves, directly targeting the area of pain and prompting your body to create new restorative tissue cells. Because the procedure is nonsurgical and “outside the body,” most ESWT procedures are completed in less than 30 minutes.
2. ESWT is similar to Lithotripsy, a shock wave therapy for kidney stones.
Lithotripsy is a comparable shockwave treatment used to break up kidney stones from the body’s exterior. For kidney stones, the use of shock waves has led to a reduction in adverse tissue growth.
3. ESWT is different from laser therapy.
Recently, a number of physical therapy devices using unfocused pressure waves have attempted to market themselves as ESWT. Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy is unique in its use of powerful and specifically targeted sound waves, and it is the only procedure that is FDA approved, proven to effectively repair tissue without heel surgery.
4. ESWT is ideal for patients who have experienced plantar fasciitis for at least 6 months.
Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy is usually recommended as the next step for patients who have tried more conservative treatments and have been met with limited success. It is a highly successful therapy for those suffering from chronic recurring pain, such as patients who experience strain every time they place weight on their heel.
5. ESWT recovery time is typically short and does not require time off from work.
While the healing process is different for everyone, most patients experience significant improvement within 3 months. Most importantly, because ESWT doesn’t involve surgery, you avoid the prolonged healing process wherein your condition worsens before it improves. Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy allows most patients to work without lengthy time off, giving them the freedom to go about their day-to-day lives as they recover.
If you are suffering from chronic plantar fasciitis, consult our highly qualified podiatrist Zahid Ladha, D.P.M. at Foot First Podiatry in New Albany, IN to discuss Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy as a possible option. Contact us at (812) 945-9221 and schedule an appointment today!