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Foot pain of any sort will slow you down. Whether your heel hurts when you step out of bed or you're having pain in the ball of your foot while wearing your favorite shoes, it's important to get rid of your pain as quickly as possible. My name is Dr. Andrew Schneider, and I'm a podiatrist in Houston, Texas. While our go-to methods for handling foot pain include medication, injections and surgery. There is a treatment that will get you feeling better without any of these. In today's video, I'm going to discuss how shockwave therapy can be used to treat foot pain so it's gone once and for all. 

Every day I see patients come through the door of my Houston podiatry practice with various forms of foot pain. More and more people want to get better naturally, without medication, injections, or surgery. I can understand that. The problem is, however, that when your pain is in your foot, it's very hard to completely rest your foot. 

Most people are unable, and quite frankly, unwilling, to stay in bed until their foot is completely better. And using crutches, a knee scooter, or a wheelchair also isn't very practical. There is a solution, however. That solution is shockwave therapy

Shockwave therapy is a nonsurgical, noninvasive treatment for a variety of painful conditions of the foot and ankle. We use a type of shockwave therapy in our Houston podiatry office known as Extracorporeal Pulse Activation Technology or EPAT. Shockwave therapy is a form of regenerative medicine. The procedure uses high energy ultrasound and mechanical acoustic waves to produce energy waves applied to the injured tissue. These waves cause microtrauma to the inflamed areas and cause your body to redirect healing resources to the injured site. 

There are many benefits of shockwave therapy. These include an increase in tissue repair at the cellular level and an increased blood flow to the injured area. This is important because it brings more vital nutrients and growth factors to repair the injury. 

There are a number of common foot and ankle conditions that respond very well to shockwave therapy. These include heel pain, caused by plantar fasciitis or Achilles tendonitis, Morton's neuroma, ankle sprains, turf toe, shin splints and more. 

There's no anesthesia required for shockwave therapy. It's not a painful treatment. Some people find it annoying or irritating as if a rubber band is snapping or a young child is tapping you over and over and over again. Don't worry. I can control the intensity if it gets too much. 

In my office, there are three stages to a shockwave therapy treatment. The first stage, I'll use a transmitter that will focus on the focal point of your pain. I don't move it around much, since I want the energy focus on that specific area. 

The second stage of EPAT treatment focuses on the tissue surrounding the primary area of pain. For instance, if we're treating the bottom of your heel, the secondary treatment will be in your arch. If we're treating the Achilles tendon, I'll focus on the muscles in your calf. So for this part of the treatment, I move the transmitter around to the surrounding tissue.

Finally, the third part of the treatment is using a different device called the V-Actor. It uses vibration energy to relax the muscles and connective tissue. It also improves microcirculation and allows metabolic waste products and toxins to be removed. The vibration therapy helps to restore normal muscle tone after the shockwave treatments. 

There's no downtime after treatments with shockwave therapy. In most cases, you can resume your regular activity. There's no pain after the treatment and you can return to work or school immediately after the session. Most patients feel pain relief after the very first EPAT session. More than 80% of people find that their pain is resolved after the full course of treatment. The best part about shockwave therapy is that there's no side effects or complications. The only time EPAT is contraindicated is in the presence of malignancies or blood clots. Shockwave therapy has been well received by my patients and I'm confident it will provide the lasting relief you need. Shockwave therapy is not covered by most health insurance, so give us a call to learn about this affordable investment in your health.