Whether you are experiencing pain from a sudden sports injury or have been enduring the discomfort of chronic heel pain for quite a while, one thing remains consistent: you want it gone! And that’s where EPAT can help.
There are multiple courses of treatment for different causes of pain and discomfort, and—just as with any other form of treatment—EPAT is not always going to be the ideal choice in every case. But when it is effective, its ability to work with the body’s own natural healing processes is particularly praiseworthy.
What is EPAT?
EPAT stands for Extracorporeal Pulse Activation Technology. You might have heard a related term: shockwave therapy.
In either case, rest assured that this therapy does not involve passing electrical current through anyone. Instead, the device sends high-energy acoustic pressure waves (the pulse) into the site of an injury from outside the body (extracorporeal). This stimulates responses within the body (activation) that can relieve pain and accelerate healing.
How exactly does all this happen?
When the waves pass through the site of the injury, they create a mild inflammatory response. In other words, the pulses shake up and slightly aggravate the area. The body responds to that stimulation in several beneficial ways:
- Damaged cells in the area can accelerate their repair processes, leading to either faster healing or restarting the healing process after the body had previously “given up” and stopped.
- Blood flow to the area is increased, meaning that the cells in the area receive an increased supply of oxygen, growth factors, and other things they need to conduct their work. In some cases, new capillaries form in the area to provide cells even more efficient access.
- As circulation to the area is increased, so is circulation away from the area. This can help carry excess fluid away and reduce swelling.
All of these effects can be achieved without any invasive procedures, or the use of any drugs. It’s virtually pain free (some patients report a feeling like a rubber band is being snapped against their foot) and has had a high success rate in relieving both acute and chronic sources of pain.