By Dr. Berg
What is Shockwave Therapy?
Extracorporeal Pulse Activation Treatment (EPAT) or shockwave therapy is an advanced and highly effective non-invasive treatment method cleared by the FDA for the treatment of soft tissue disorders, more specifically plantar fasciitis and Achilles tendonitis. The technology is based on a unique set of pressure waves that stimulate the metabolism, enhance blood circulation and accelerate the healing process. Damaged tissue gradually regenerates and eventually heals.
My experience with shockwave or acoustic ultrasound.
I was first introduced to this treatment method while I was in my residency. I was able to do a rotation at The Sports Medicine Clinic in Seattle Washington, where many players of the Seattle Seahawks and Seattle Mariners players were treated. I was educated on the use and proper patients to perform this treatment on. The clinic saw many athletes which ranged from the weekend warrior to high level athletes who did not want to have down time from surgery or the post-op rehab. The doctors performing shockwave were having patients sent from all over the Seattle area because of their results. Many patients that traditionally were told that they would need surgery or to live with the pain now had an alternative that could help live and exercise with much less pain if any.
We recently acquired a shockwave machine in our office here in Salem. We are the only providers between Bend and Portland that carry this modality. We wanted to offer something more to our patients and something that works and can keep them on their feet.
Before any treatment you are thoroughly assessed and if you meet the criteria for this treatment. The literature and my experience report that the patients should perform one session per week for four weeks. Each session can last about 15 minutes. It is highly recommended that during treatments the patient stops the use of NSAIDS such Ibuprofen. After the last session you will come back in one month. During this month, after the four treatments, is when some patients’ notice the biggest improvements in their pain.
Many patients wished they had come in sooner to be treated for their conditions. I would like to share a note of an experience of one of my patients.
“I would like to express my sincere appreciation to Dr. Berg and to the amazing people of Coastline Foot + Ankle Center. Several months ago I injured my Achilles tendon. As a runner, this injury was the worst of my life. Time, rest, ice, and ibuprofen had little to no success in treating my pain. When I arrived, Dr. Berg carefully examined my injury and recommended Shock Wave therapy. I began weekly Shock Wave treatments and noticed immediate improvement my injury. During my final treatments, I continued to improve, and since my pain was minimal, Dr. Berg gave me the green light to run. This past weekend, I participated in my first post injury race. Before coming into Coastline Foot + Ankle, I believed my days of running and good health were in the past. I’m grateful for the opportunity to once again participate in an activity that gives me joy and life.“ – Steve Unwin