EPAT Therapy for Soft Tissue Pain Relief
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.
What Conditions Could EPAT Be Used On?
Soft tissue injuries tend to respond best to EPAT, including many sports injuries and causes of heel pain. Specific examples include:
- Plantar fasciitis
- Achilles tendinitis
- Muscle strains
- Posterior tibial tendinitis
Please remember that EPAT may not always be recommended for your particular case, even if you are experiencing one of the problems above. We must always consider all the factors for each individual patient when determining the best course of action, but we will always be happy to discuss all available options with you.
What Should I Expect From EPAT?
EPAT is conducted over a number of treatment sessions spread out over weeks. The results of each session are cumulative, meaning the positive results will stack with each successive session. Many patients report feeling some relief after just the first session.
During a session, we may apply a gel over your skin so the device is more effective. You will not have to fast, take any medications, or otherwise prepare for a session in any way, although we might ask you to discontinue the use of certain anti-inflammatory medications 1 week before we begin.
A session lasts about 10-15 minutes, and you will be free to proceed with your day as normal afterward. You will not need to have anyone drive you home.
Get the Relief from Pain You Need
Whether EPAT or another form of advanced therapy will work best for your needs, do not delay in seeking treatment. The longer problems go unaddressed, the higher the risk that they become worse or more challenging to treat over time.
Take the first step by contacting any of our area offices. If you prefer to reach out to us electronically, please feel free to fill out our contact form instead and a member of our staff will respond to you during our standard office hours.