Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy (ESWT) Questions and Answers

Extracorporeal shock wave therapy is available to help treat Achilles tendonitis, and plantar fasciitis. We know healthy feet are happy feet. Call us today or schedule an appointment online. We have 2 convenient locations near you. We serve patients from Hicksville NY, West Hempstead NY, Jericho NY, New Cassel NY, Bethpage NY, Levittown NY, Plainview NY, Westbury NY, East Meadow NY and Syosset NY.

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Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy, also called extracorporeal shock wave therapy or ESWT, is an innovative procedure that is used to help cure Achilles tendonitis, tennis elbow, plantar fasciitis, and other chronic tendinopathies. The therapy forces the body to create new tissue cells in the damaged area and the healing process may take place over days, weeks, or months.

How long does Shock Wave Therapy actually take to work?

Shock wave therapy is about a 20-minute non-surgical procedure, and most people will notice a significant improvement by 12-14 weeks, while some may be required for a second week of treatment after sixteen weeks (this is for approximately 20% of patients). Since it takes time to create the injury, healing also takes time too. Total healing time of the area may take up to one year. A big highlight with therapy is that unlike surgery, you will avoid getting worse before getting better, and you do not have to plan to take a lot of time off work or your life for painful post-procedure recovery.

Is shock wave therapy effective?

Shock wave therapy is reported to be effective and represents an innovative, noninvasive treatment that involves the delivery of shock waves to injured soft tissue to help reduce pain and to help promote healing. Patients enjoy the fact that their condition can be treated outside of the body and there is no lengthy recovery period, virtually no time off of work, or risk of causing further damage, which cannot be said with surgery.

Is shock wave therapy effective for Achilles tendonitis?

The non-invasive therapeutic device delivers acoustic waves to the area of the injury, and the machine utilizes kinetic energy to reach the target area through a small application of the handle. The energy penetrates the skin and sends a strong wave as deep as 7 centimeters into the body, with the highest pressure being felt at the surface of the body. As most of us know, the Achilles tendinopathy is an injury that is caused from increased repetitive stress or over-use on the tissue connecting the heel and the calf (the Achilles tendon). Pain involves morning pain along the back of the heel which increases with activity, swelling, and pain the day after exercise and possible thickening of the tendon. So, how does shock wave therapy help for Achilles tendonitis? According to studies, shock wave therapy has been proven to decrease pain and improve function. In fact, shock wave therapy has been shown to produce short-term pain-relieving effects and long-term increased blood flow and inflammation – both of which can improve outcome measures for a patient. The positive effects of shock wave therapy may occur within 3-4 sessions, with about 1 week between sessions, depending on a patient’s injury and background.

How quickly does shock wave work?

Most patients will notice a big improvement withing 12 to 14 weeks, and a second treatment might be necessary, however, this is rarely the case for most patients. The total healing time can take anywhere from weeks to a year. Injuries do take time to heal, and overall shock wave therapy is effective. You will need to consult with a healthcare professional on how quickly this treatment may take to work – everyone’s injuries might be the same or different, but your doctor is the professional who understands your body and may have a better idea on healing time.

If you have had your condition for more than six months and have tried other therapies that are not giving you the results you want, then shock wave therapy might be a treatment to consider but talk to your healthcare provider first to go over the treatment and its benefits. Most patients might be required to take a day or two off following the treatment, but do not require a prolonged recovery period.