Shockwave Therapy Questions & Answers by NY Board-Certified Podiatrist, Dr. Isaac Tabari:
Shockwave therapy, also known as Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy (ESWT) is a noninvasive surgical procedure. It uses sound waves to stimulate healing in some physical disorders, including plantar fasciitis and tendinitis. NYC Podiatry Center of Excellence is one of the few state-of-the-art clinics in NYC with a board-certified and experienced doctor offering this latest modality to treat chronic heel pain / plantar fasciitis, tendinitis, and other foot pain conditions. On this page, you will learn more about shockwave therapy questions and answers.
QUESTION: How was shockwave therapy introduced for treatment of pain?
ANSWER: Shockwave therapy was first introduced in medicine in the early 90s for the treatment of kidney stones. However, in the years, this therapy rapidly expanded to treat diseases of the musculoskeletal system (shock waves extracorporeal).
QUESTION: Is shock wave therapy an invasive procedure and does it ionize radiation?
ANSWER: Shock waves are acoustic waves and therefore are a non-invasive non-radioactive procedure.
QUESTION: Can shock wave therapy be implemented in podiatry for the treatment of various diseases of the foot & ankle tendons and bones?
ANSWER: Yes. It is precisely applied to the tendon pathologies (like plantar fasciitis and tendinitis), especially when the pain is chronic and not responding to other therapies. This therapy is also implemented for bone regeneration disorders.
QUESTION: Is shockwave therapy designated for plantar fasciitis or tendinitis only when calcifications are present?
ANSWER: Shock wave therapy may be indicated for tendon pathologies even in the absence of calcifications.
QUESTION: Is the aim of treatment with extracorporeal shockwaves in the musculoskeletal field simply to dissolve calcifications?
ANSWER: The goal of shockwave therapy is to apply a very precise mechanical action, a sort of micro-massage on cells and tissues, in order to stimulate certain biological reactions like the anti-inflammatory effect, anti-edema, and reduction in pain in addition to locally improving microcirculation.
QUESTION: Can shock wave therapy be an alternative to surgery?
ANSWER: Yes, in some cases, shock wave therapy is a viable alternative to plantar fasciotomy (EPF) or tendon repair surgery. In addition, shock wave therapy does not preclude the ability to undergo surgery, if the surgery is still necessary.
QUESTION: Can shock wave therapy be combined with other different types of therapies?
ANSWER: Yes, the treatment with shock waves do not interfere with other types of physical therapy when combined together.
QUESTION: Are shock waves dangerous in a sense that they cause injury to the tissues?
ANSWER: If executed properly with expertise, appropriate equipment, and trained board-certified professionals and after a correct diagnosis, a therapy with extracorporeal shock waves can be performed safely. Dr. Isaac Tabari is a board-certified (ABPM) doctor specifically trained in Shockwave Therapy use.
QUESTION: Is the application of shock wave therapy painful?
ANSWER: The therapy, is generally well tolerated as long as it is carried out by a professional as described above. In cases of bone treatment for which high energies need to be implemented, a local anesthesia may be performed to make the application more tolerable.
QUESTION: Is the effect of shock wave therapy immediate?
ANSWER: No, the therapeutic action of the shock waves promotes biological reactions which require time. The full beneficial effect usually takes several weeks to present itself.
Hope this page has answered some of your Shockwave Therapy questions. If you have plantar fasciitis tendinitis or other foot pain disorders, Shockwave Therapy may be a good option for you. Please also visit the following links for more information about Shockwave Therapy and Plantar Fasciitis, Heel Pain and Spurs.
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