Foot and ankle pain is not uncommon, especially in those of us runners. Whether a long distance or short distance runner, you may find yourself limited by aches and pains in your feet. Because ignoring these little aches and pains can lead to chronic problems, we have to recommend that you seek out an Austin podiatrist at first sign of discomfort. Corrections to your footwear or inserts can help correct whatever is causing the pain and non-invasive therapies can be applied. A variety of options, including taping, padding, orthosis (inserts), oral anti-inflammatory therapy, or stretching are useful for many patients. In the next week or so, Austin Foot and Ankle Specialists will have yet another option for you, Extracorporeal Pulse Activation Therapy®.
EPAT® is an exciting new therapy that utilizes shock waves to stimulated recovery. Technology like this was initially used to break down kidney stones to pass from the body normally eliminating the need for more invasive therapy. In more recent years, this therapy has proven very effective for healing chronic muscle and tendon injuries. Chronic injuries are often difficult to come back from due to the scar tissue that can form. These scar tissues do not function with the efficiency of the normal tissues they replace. It can also make it difficult for your body to supply nutrients and healing factors for optimal healing further complicating the problem. The sonic waves of the EPAT® stimulate healing by breaking down the scar tissue. A ‘wand’ is placed on the skin over the problem area and the pulses are amplified to the proper level to destroy scar tissues without hurting healthy tissues. It often does not require many treatments before significant healing occurs.
Heel pain is one area where this therapy has ideal application. You may think of plantar fasciitis when you hear someone talk about heel pain. This is often a misnomer because this condition does not always exhibit the inflammation that occurs with an ‘-itis’. Because this therapy is contraindicated in acute inflammatory conditions, it is crucial that the right cause be identified. A proper diagnosis of the source and type of heel pain that is limiting you is best made by a specialist of the foot and ankle. Make an appointment with your Austin podiatrist today and see if EPAT® is right for you!