EPAT: One Option for Treating Heel Pain

Robert G. Parker
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Dr. Parker is a podiatrist and surgeon in Houston, TX who has been helping patients for more than 40 years.

Don’t you love having choices? Houston has many restaurants that cater to a number of different tastes, including Chinese, Italian, Mediterranean, TexMex, and even an “American” menu (whatever that is!). Like sports? Our Texans, Astros, Rockets, Dynamo, and Aeros offer many options for fans of all types, not to mention local college, high school, and rec league teams. Even when you suffer from sore heels, Parker Foot & Ankle can choose from a toolkit full of treatment options for heel pain:

  • Rest or activity modification
  • Stretching
  • Icing regimen
  • Medications
  • Physical therapy
  • Injections for pain and inflammation
  • Night splints
  • Foot orthotics

Many of these will be tried when you are first diagnosed, and you may find adequate relief from one or more of them. If not, there’s one more choice we can try before resorting to more invasive measures like surgery. It is called extracorporeal pulse activation treatment, or EPAT.

This technology uses sound waves to break up calcified and fibrous tissue and deliver tiny shocks to damaged plantar fascia or Achilles tendon that steps your body’s own healing capacity up a notch. It works on the principle that causing microscopic trauma in the tissue will stimulate your body to create better blood flow in the area and deliver what the cells need for repair and growth.

The treatment is done right in our office, with no anesthesia needed. You simply sit or lie comfortably while the sound waves are delivered to the painful area with a hand held device that is moved gently over your skin. Mild pain, bruising and redness may occur right after treatment, but these should soon disappear. Then your body gets to work healing the damage, and your pain will start to diminish. The effects continue to grow over the next few months.

Want to know if this option might be the right one for your heel pain? Give Parker Foot & Ankle a call and we’ll discuss this at your appointment. Reach our office in Houston, TX at (281) 497-2850, or schedule using our online form. Together, we’ll tackle your chronic pain and make it better.

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