New Technologies: Extracorporeal Pulse Activation Therapy (EPAT) For Heel Pain
Posted by Jenn F. on Tuesday, November 5th, 2013
Plantar fasciitis is the most common cause of heel pain. Over time, strenuous activity, genetic predisposition, and/or poor shoe choice causes the flat ligament connecting the heel to the toes becomes inflamed, irritated, and may even tear slightly.
“Heel pain is an extremely common reason that people come to see me. The pain can be relentless and sometimes severely limits people from participating in some of their favorite activities,” says Dr. Ryan Minara of The Center for Podiatric Care & Sports Medicine. Extracorporeal Pulse Activation Therapy (EPAT) is one of the new treatments his NYC office is using to help sufferers get back on their feet faster.
What Is EPAT?
Extracorporeal Pulse Activation is a non-invasive, FDA-cleared treatment that sends a unique set of pressure waves into the foot to stimulate the metabolism, enhance circulation and accelerate healing. Some patients says it feels like repetitive gentle tapping on their feet. Usually, patients undergo three 30-minute treatment sessions over the course of a month; 80% of people report zero pain following the initial course of treatment.
“The EPAT treatments are quick and non-invasive,” explains NYC podiatrist Dr. Katherine Lai. “You can come into our office for the treatments and walk out, without any downtime needed,” she adds.
Dr. Ryan Minara adds that his athletic patients especially like EPAT because they can continue their favorite activities like running or playing sports during the treatment course — with no downtime.
What Can EPAT Treat?
Plantar fasciitis is the most common application, but EPAT can also be used to treat acute or chronic pain in the neck and shoulders, back and chest, upper and lower extremities, as well as the feet and ankles. We have used EPAT to treat NYC sports injuries such as:
– Tennis elbow
– Golfers elbow
– Heel spurs
– Hallux limitus
– Achilles tendonitis
– Rotator cuff tendonitis
– Tendinosis calcarea of the shoulder
– Patellar tendonitis / jumpers knee
Are There Any Risks Or Downsides To EPAT?
There is much to love about EPAT. There are no incisions, no risk of infection or scar tissue, no anesthesia and no harmful side effects. In a few instances, patients have reported redness or tingling the same day as their treatments. “EPAT is safe and very often leads to significant pain reduction in a very natural way,” says Dr. Nadia Levy. “It is one of my favorite treatment modalities for those very reasons.”
Perhaps the only real downside is that EPAT is not covered by insurance companies. Patients pay an average of $500 for a series of three treatments, plus the usual copay fees. Despite these initial costs, surgery is much more expensive and EPAT is extremely effective compared to other treatments.
If you have any foot problems or pain, contact The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine. Dr. Josef J. Geldwert, Dr. Katherine Lai, Dr. Ryan Minara and Dr. Mariola Rivera have helped thousands of people get back on their feet. Unfortunately, we cannot give diagnoses or treatment advice online. Please make an appointment to see us if you live in the NY metropolitan area or seek out a podiatrist in your area.