Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy (ESWT) is a non-invasive treatment using shock waves to reduce pain caused by tissue or tendon inflammation. ESWT is considered a viable treatment option for patients suffering from chronic tendinopathy that persists even after traditional treatments. Chronic tendinopathy is generally difficult to treat and is characterized by localized pain and pathological changes to a tendon. This condition affects both athletes and non-athletes.
ESWT treatment is FDA-cleared, and Dr. Tea offers her patients the option to use ESWT as a non-surgical option to treat chronic plantar fasciitis and Achilles tendonitis.
ESWT is an effective non-surgical treatment option for chronic soft tissue pain of the foot and ankle. This non-invasive treatment improves circulation and accelerates healing.
It has proven to increase the rate of healing thus decreases pain for soft tissue conditions of the foot and ankle. It is a non-invasive and highly effective treatment that enhances circulation accelerating the healing process.
When you experience chronic pain, your body no longer recognizes that there is an injury to that area. Therefore, it shuts down the healing process and causes pain. With ESWT, low-energy shock waves are applied to painful regions in the body to jump-start the healing process. These shock waves help accelerate the healing process in the body, stimulating metabolism and improving blood circulation. This, in turn, encourages damaged tissue to regenerate and heal.
The shock waves penetrate deep into your skin to target the soft tissue and cause microtrauma. This stimulates the healing cycle, thus providing you relief.
Most patients feel relief after three treatments. Each treatment takes about 5 minutes and is performed weekly. Maximum results are seen at 4-6 weeks. Nerve blocks are not required, and there is no downtime compared to surgery. Patients are able to return to work immediately.
Although ESWT is FDA cleared to treat painful foot and ankle conditions, it is not yet covered by insurance. Dr. Tea will evaluate, diagnose, and determine if ESWT treatment is right for you. Most insurance plans cover the office evaluation, but you can check with your health care provider to be sure.
It is important to consider the cost benefits of a non-surgical therapy that takes only 5 minutes to perform versus the downtime needed and income loss for surgery. Studies have shown that ESWT provides comparable results to surgery.
ESWT treatment is not recommended for patients who are taking blood thinners, are pregnant, or have a malignancy. You must be 18 years or older and be evaluated by the doctor for a diagnosis that confirms you as a candidate for ESWT.
Please note that you should stop any anti-inflammatory medications (ibuprofen, aspirin, other NSAIDS) 1 week prior to treatment and 4 weeks after the last treatment. This is because ESWT re-activates inflammation, which is essential to the healing process.