When we hear of Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy, numerous questions come to mind. As it is a somewhat novel method of treatment, most people are unsure about its benefits and how it works.
At Westchester Podiatric Medicine, P.C., in Yonkers, NY, we are clarifying some notions about this procedure, how it is performed, and who does it benefit the most?
What is Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy (ESWT)?
It is a leading-edge technologically advanced procedure that is used to treat chronic foot conditions like acute Achilles tendonitis, plantar fasciitis, heel spurs, and more. It is non-invasive, which means it does not involve any surgical cuts or stitches.
What happens in this procedure?
Energy shock waves are sent through damaged or scarred tissue so that blood circulation, and resultantly the healing process, is stimulated through a hand-held device.
Does this mean that other treatment methods are obsolete?
Absolutely not! Our highly experienced and board-certified podiatrist, Dr. John C. Marzano, always starts the treatment process with traditional or conventional methods which include physical therapy, use of custom orthotics, RICE (rest, ice application, compression, elevation), and perhaps some idle time to allow damaged tissue to repair itself. However, in extreme cases, if such methods fail, then ESWT can be a suitable option.
When should one choose this procedure?
People who are suffering from acute musculoskeletal disorders, plantar fasciitis, tendonitis, and heel spurs could consider this option if other conventional treatments have failed to yield any benefits and if they would prefer to avoid invasive surgeries. Consult with your podiatrist for the most appropriate treatment.
Does it hurt or have any side effects?
ESWT is a non-invasive treatment approved by the FDA. While some patients may feel minor discomfort, they can usually bear weight on their feet right after the treatment. The sessions take place weekly, are between 10-15 minutes long depending on your condition, and require 3-5 weeks for complete recovery. Some side-effects encountered are minor swelling, redness, or bruising after the treatment.