Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy (ESWT)
The Kansas Foot Center stays current in the latest technology, because sometimes advances can help patients overcome pain in a more effective manner than previous approaches were able to. An example of this is extracorporeal shock wave therapy (ESWT). We have various treatment options, but there is a chance ESWT is the one that will be best for the condition or injury bothering you.
An Introduction to ESWT
Extracorporeal shock wave therapy is a noninvasive treatment in which the body’s self-healing ability is activated and enhanced by energy pulses. Damaged and degenerated tissues are repaired and soft tissue pain is relieved during the process. This becomes a viable alternative to surgery if conservative care has been ineffective at delivering results.
In this therapy, waves of energy levels are projected to the affected area which are strong enough to deliver mechanical force to inner tissues. This both stimulates metabolism and increases circulation to the targeted area. The oxygen, nutrients and healing factors the body needs to repair damaged tissue are delivered more efficiently. Even better, the energy pulsed and directed at damaged tissues is safe, quick, and painless. The procedure is performed in-office, with generally no side effects, and you can resume normal activities as soon as you leave.
At this time, experts are not sure why this process works better for some individuals than others, but patients report an 85% success rate after treatment. There are also some conditions that might exclude a patient from being considered for ESWT, including heart conditions, seizures, pregnancy, and nerve damage. In these cases, we will simply provide other treatment methods.
ESWT is performed on an outpatient basis and typically does not require anesthesia. When performed at higher energy levels, though, we may apply a numbing medication before we begin. In these instances, we first use a gel that helps with conductivity before properly placing the probe in position. The device delivering the acoustic waves is then carefully calibrated to the right frequency and wavelength for the procedure.
Be sure to let us know if where we place the probe is in the actual area where you have been experiencing pain. Afterward, you can walk as normal, but we will recommend reducing your activity level a bit during the first one or two weeks following therapy. This might be inconvenient, but it is much better than the recovery process for invasive surgical procedures.
Conservative Treatment Options
As we mentioned, The Kansas Foot Center reserves certain treatment options for cases where conservative care is not providing effective results. Many patients come to us to receive care for conditions like Achilles tendinitis, plantar fasciitis, and other soft tissue problems. These types of injuries often develop in response to excessive stress on the tendons and ligaments found in the lower limbs.
It is our general policy to address issues like these by starting with conservative treatment methods. Rest, stretches, medication, ice, and compression are some of the components of treatment plans. In many cases, ensuring that damaged tissues receive plenty of rest and are stretched properly is a solid basis for a road to recovery. Medication, ice, and compression can relieve pain and help manage inflammation.
As noted, when these options do not work, it is time to use alternative options, including ESWT. Of course, we will not be entirely sure as to what works until you come in and see us, so be sure to schedule your appointment today.
Advanced Treatment at The Kansas Foot Center
When you experience intense, stabbing heel pain with the first steps in the morning or severe discomfort where the Achilles tendon connects to the back of the foot after physical activity, The Kansas Foot Center can help. We provide extracorporeal pulse activation technology as one form of treatment, but our doctors have an array of options to provide the effective care you need. Contact us today for more information by calling (316) 283-4330, or use our online form to request an appointment at our offices in Wichita and Newton.