Those few minutes every day when you’re contemplating putting your feet down on the floor in the morning, or cooling off your agonized heels after a workout, are not ideal. All of these moments add up to a very significant amount of time very quickly.
Holding off on heel pain care is robbing yourself of time you can feel much more comfortable and ready to take on the day. And if you think nothing can be done about your heels … think again!
No matter how long you have been suffering from heel pain, something can almost always be done to provide at least significant relief, if not eliminate the pain entirely.
A wide range of treatment methods exist to attack heel pain in multiple ways. This isn’t because heel pain needs an all-out assault like it’s Godzilla, but because there are many different potential sources of heel pain that could be addressed. You need the right tool for the job!
And, if the cause of your heel pain is focused on soft tissue injuries, an advanced tool we may consider is Extracorporeal Pulse Activation Technology, or EPAT.
Just What Is EPAT?
We know the name doesn’t really lend itself to self-explanation, so here’s a quick rundown of what EPAT does.
The goal of EPAT therapy is to trigger and stimulate the body’s own natural healing processes at the site of an injury. This is done through the application of various ranges and frequencies of pressure waves in the area, with absolutely no cutting, poking, or otherwise invasive procedures.
How can waves have any sort of effect on pain relief and recovery? The pressure waves are at enough of an intensity to aggravate the site of pain on a cellular level—almost like very slightly reinjuring the spot. The body responds to this in several positive ways:
- Repair processes are activated in damaged cells. This can accelerate ongoing repairs or restart repairs that might have slowed or stopped (meaning even chronic pain can be treated by EPAT).
- Blood flow the area is increased, both in general volume and the potential creation of new tiny blood vessels through the area. This provides an influx of oxygen and healing factors in the blood, which damaged cells can make great use of.
- The immune response to the area increases. When combined with increased circulation, this can help decrease inflammation and pain.
What Is Using EPAT Like?
EPAT treatments are performed over a number of scheduled sessions. Each session is short (usually less than 30 minutes) and requires no preparation or aftercare.
There may be some minor discomfort during the session. Some describe the sensation as being a bit like a rubber band being repeatedly snapped against the heel. We can adjust the intensity of the pressure waves to a level that is bearable for each patient, and gradually build it up over time once you get used to it.
Over time, with each successive session, the results of the treatment are expected to stack. You may feel some improvement following your very first session, but do not worry if you don’t. You are likely to feel it more and more as we hold more sessions!
A Great Option for Soft Tissue Relief
While there are multiple uses for EPAT, it tends to work especially well for soft tissue injuries, including Achilles tendinitis and plantar fasciitis.
EPAT has been used prominently in the treatment of sports injuries in athletes, but it is far from limited to treating sports-related injuries. If you have strained tissues from standing all day at work or other conditions, EPAT may very well be the best choice for your situation, too.
…Or, it may not! Other forms of treatment, such as custom orthotics, stretching, a specific exercise plan, or medications may be more suitable for your needs. A combination of treatments might also be the best consideration. It all depends on a thorough evaluation of your problem and all the factors surrounding it, including your lifestyle, age, goals, and medical history.
There Is Hope, and We Have the Info!
We say this often, but we’ll keep saying it until enough people believe it: No matter how long you have had to deal with heel pain, or how commanding a hold it has taken of your daily life, there is almost always something that can be done to improve your circumstances!
If you would like to learn more about causes and treatments for heel pain, we have two excellent options:
- Schedule an appointment at our Freeland office by calling (989) 695-6788, or fill out our online contact form if you prefer to go the unspoken route.
- Request your free downloadable copy of our guide, Free Yourself from Heel Pain: A Guide to Understanding its Causes and Treatments.
(There’s also nothing stopping you from doing both, if we are to be absolutely frank.)
The only choice that doesn’t make sense is to do nothing about your pain or just stumble around trying treatments without any real planning or direction. Let us help you get the results you need!