WHAT IS ESWT?
Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy or ESWT is an 18-minute non-surgical procedure used to cure chronic plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendonitis, tennis elbow, shoulder tendonitis, and other chronic tendinopathies.
Lithotripsy, a similar shock wave therapy procedure, is used regularly for breaking up and dispersing kidney stones. When urologists found that patients who had the kidney stone procedure presented with increased bone density and new tissue growth, the possibilities of shock wave therapy were revisited.
ESWT is used internationally for conditions all over the body. In the United States, an FDA study was performed for patients who suffer from chronic plantar fasciitis with or without the presence of a heel spur. The results were an amazing average reduction in pain of 92% with only one treatment. (This data reflects the results of the patients who participated in a one-year follow-up study with the Dornier EPOS Ultra machine.)
ESWT benefits patients because their condition can be treated extracorporeally, meaning outside of the body. Because the treatment is non-invasive many of the expenses and risks of surgery are eliminated. Excellence Shock Wave Therapy uses the Dornier EPOS Ultra for all our orthopedic ESWT procedures.
HOW EFFECTIVE IS ESWT?
Our own experience and the FDA ESWT study using our treatment protocol shows an overwhelming success rate. In the study, a group of 150 patients was asked to rate their pain level on a scale of 1 to 10. The average pain level before treatment was 7.7.
After receiving one ESWT treatment, the patients were asked one year later to rate their pain level again on a scale of 1 to 10. The patients who reported had an average pain score post-ESWT of 0.6. This is a 92% reduction in pain and a much higher rate of success than any non-surgical or surgical procedure. More importantly, ESWT is very safe.
WHAT IS INVOLVED IN THE PROCEDURE?
ESWT benefits patients because their condition can be treated extracorporeally, meaning outside of the body. Since ESWT is non-invasive, there is no lengthy recovery period, virtually no time off from work or risk of causing further damage. The same cannot be said with surgery.
During the treatment, you lie back comfortably with the area to be treated resting on the machine on a soft, water-filled membrane. To ensure patient comfort, a local anesthesia is used. The technician will make sure you are comfortable throughout the procedure. The technician uses an ultrasound scan to view and target the damaged location. During the treatment, you will hear repetitive clicking sounds.
The Excellence Shock Wave Therapy Technician and your Doctor will insist upon your comfort during treatment. Our technicians have performed tens of thousands of ESWT treatments and are proficient at using the analgesic effects of certain levels of shockwaves to make the treatment comfortable. Your comfort is a priority to us.
If you are nervous or anxious about treatment talk to your doctor or treatment coordinator. Our goal is to always make sure you are comfortable and relaxed during treatment!
WHAT CONDITIONS CAN BE TREATED BY ESWT?
ESWT can effectively treat a range of musculoskeletal conditions. Complaints involving attachment points for tendons and ligaments in major joints such as the plantar fascia, Achilles tendon, shoulder, elbow and knee are common areas for ESWT treatment. Contact us to discuss your individual condition.
ESWT forces your body to create new tissue cells in the damaged area. Expect gradual healing to take place over days, weeks or months. Though not typical, some have mild soreness or bruising after treatment. Some people experience no more pain from day one. Most will have noticeable to significant improvement by the thirteenth week. A second treatment after sixteen weeks may be necessary in approximately 20% of patients. As it took time to create the injury, healing also takes time. Total healing of the area can take up to one year. The best thing about ESWT is that unlike surgery, you avoid getting worse before getting better. You do not need to plan lengthy time off from work or your life for painful post-procedure recovery