The Use of ESWT for Foot and Other Joint Pains

Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy or ESWT is a newer treatment for heel pain, foot pain, and other types of joint pains. In the U.S., this medical device is approved by the FDA for treating tennis elbow and heel pain caused by plantar fasciitis. In the future, it is expected that there will be more approvals from the FDA to use ESWT for other health conditions like Achilles tendinitis, patella tendinitis, and a lot more.

ESWT is a unique treatment since it promotes the natural healing properties of the body and can be used to manage chronic pain. This device promotes tissue healing through the following:

1. The shock waves produced by ESWT machine induce very small injuries to the affected area, creating new vascularization. Increased vascularization means increased blood flow to the injured muscle tissues, ligaments and tendons.

2. Since the shock waves induce micro injuries, the body naturally treats the damage and at the same time heals old joint injuries that the body has been ignoring or has been desensitized to. This makes ESWT very ideal for treating long standing pain.

Extracorporeal is a medical term which means that a medical procedure is done outside the body. Compared to surgery which is invasive, ESWT is low-risk and non-invasive procedure w
ith very minimal or no side effects.

The procedure is simple and is very similar to ultrasound. First, the damaged tissue or the painful area is located. Once the targeted tissue is found, multiple shock waves are introduced to create tiny injuries which actually help to induce the natural healing process, creating new tissue growth and therefore repairing new or chronically damaged tissue.

This is all done in around 30 minutes
and depending on the extent of damage, it may require successive sessions to treat the pain. For some patients, the pain relief is observed with a single treatment, while for others, relief is gradual. There are complaints of minimal pain after the procedure but this is rare.


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