Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy

Updated 7/7/2020
On NBC's "The Doctor's" our Dr. B. discussing and performing a Shockwave Therapy treatment for plantar fasciitis before a live studio audience.
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What is Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy?

Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy is often used when your injury is in a chronic state. This is when conservative treatments like stretching, physical therapy, and orthotics fail to provide adequate pain relief.

 

Shockwave therapy produces various levels of controlled trauma that causes the area to inflame and prompts natural healing to begin.

 

We are one of the few providers in the US that offers high-intensity and low-intensity Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy (also known as orthotripsy).

 

Shockwave Therapy for Plantar Fasciitis

What to Expect During Shockwave Treatment

Using a specially-designed handpiece, EWST works by focusing shockwaves directly at the painful part of your foot. The shockwaves produce micro-traumas to the tissue that’s causing your plantar fasciitis. 

 

Your body reacts to these micro-traumas by signaling for an increased blood supply to the painful area, as well as breaking down injured tissue and calcifications. In turn, blood vessel formation is increased and nutrients flood the area. Your body then heals itself.

 

This in-office, 15-minute procedure, is typically performed with almost no pain and no anesthesia. Normally, patients receive three shockwave treatments over as many weeks. Low-intensity EWST always takes place in the office, requires no anesthesia and consists of three treatments. Since it is less intense as high intensity, it allows for a more comfortable lifestyle while healing.

 

In some cases, high-intensity shockwave therapy may be the best treatment option. Since this can cause more discomfort during the procedure, it may require monitored anesthesia. The good news is it usually requires just one treatment.

 

 

Post-Shockwave Recovery

Occasionally, patients notice a dull pain in the area of the procedure, but that rarely lasts more than 24 hours. Your doctor will explain how to deal with any discomfort, which can usually be controlled with over-the-counter pain medication.

 

However, even if you are pain-free directly after your procedure, we recommend refraining from any activity that may be stressful to your foot for at least two days. It typically takes several months to reap all the pain-reduction benefits of shockwave therapy.

 

 

University Foot and Ankle Institute: pioneering shockwave therapy for plantar fasciitis

Our team is specially trained in shockwave therapy as a treatment to reduce heel pain.

 

Our patients rely on our decades of experience in developing, researching, and using the latest technologies to help bring pain-free activity back to their lives. Whether you want to compete in sports again or play with your kids, you can trust our physicians to know if advanced therapies such as shockwave therapy would likely be effective.

 

If you’re suffering from foot pain and have not received adequate relief or care, or need an independent second opinion, please contact us today to set up an appointment for a consultation.

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Frequently Asked Questions about Shockwave Therapy

 

Q. What are the success rates of shockwave therapy for the treatment of plantar fasciitis? How many sessions does it usually take?

A: Shockwave therapy for plantar fasciitis usually takes 3-4 sessions and we see a 70% success rate. Our physicians can also discuss other options once they get a sense of your exact condition. 

 

Have a Shockwave Therapy question we should add to our FAQ's? Please let us know by clicking here.

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  • Foot and Ankle Surgeon and Director of University Foot and Ankle Institute
    Dr Bob Baravarian, University Foot and Ankle Institute

    Dr. Bob Baravaria DPM, FACFAS is a Board-Certified Podiatric Foot and Ankle Specialist. He is currently a member of UCLA Medical Group, Chief of Podiatric Surgery at Santa Monica/UCLA medical center and Orthopedic Hospital, and an assistant clinical professor at the UCLA School of Medicine. He also serves as Director of University Foot and Ankle Institute.

     

    Dr. Baravarian has been involved in athletics his entire life and played competitive tennis in high school and college. He has an interest in sports medicine, arthritis therapy, and trauma/reconstructive surgery of the foot and ankle. He is also fluent in five languages (English, French, Spanish, Farsi, and Hebrew),

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