Are you sick and tired of chronic pain and injuries that won’t go away? Don’t lose hope! Blue Ridge Foot and Ankle is now offering Extracorpeal Pulse Activation Treatment (EPAT), a cutting edge technology proven to increase the rate of healing for soft tissue injuries.
EPAT, also called Shockwave Therapy, was developed in Europe by the company CuraMedix, but is now being used by doctors world wide. EPAT is an FDA approved emerging technology that delivers non-invasive low frequency (8-11 Hz) acoustic sound waves into a localized area. The sound waves act as pressure, and penetrate deep through your soft tissue. The energy emitted causes the cells in your soft tissue to release certain biochemicals that intensify the body’s natural healing process. These biochemicals allow for the building of an array of new microscopic blood vessels in your soft tissue. Overall, EPAT increases the nutrient flow to the chronically injured tissue, stimulating your cell metabolic rate, and giving hope for those who are considering surgery as their only option.
EPAT studies promise that, with EPAT treatments, you will have your cake and eat it too: first off, you can continue the activities that you love through treatment. Secondly you will not need surgery. Finally, you will still reap positive results – many times, more positive results than any other available treatment. In fact, the results of other treatments such cortisteroidal injections, orthoses, e-stim, and even surgery, seem to be significantly less effective in research studies than EPAT. Moreover, more than 80% of patients who have failed to respond to anything other treatment are relieved of their pain after being treated with EPAT. Furthermore, While studies on ultrasound methods have been conflicting (Alexander, L.D. et al 2009), EPAT therapy studies, even when conducted by skeptics of EPAT, have seen resounding success in EPAT effectiveness to cure soft tissue maladies (Saxena 2011; Gerdesmeyer, L. 2008; Ibrahim, I. M. in press; Rompe, J.D. 2009; Rompe, J. D. 2008; Rompe, J. D. 2007; Rompe, J. D. 2009; Rompe, J. D. 2009; Furia, J. P. 2009). These studies, with high standards of wellness and success rates, show between 75% – 95% success with EPAT.
After trying other types of treatment (cortisone injections, stretching, anti-inflammatories, night splints, physical therapy, and orthotic devices), you might be disheartened to start considering surgery for your injury. However, consult Dr. Murray and Dr. Chang about EPAT, since it might be a viable option instead of invasive surgery. EPAT is a small machine with a trigger end that looks like an ultrasound. It is administered once a week for a series of three weeks (up to five weeks), each taking approximately fifteen minutes (depending on the area of injury). Dr. Murray and Dr. Chang will apply coupling gel and use the EPAT on the area, in essence, breaking the soft tissue down and providing an opportunity for your cell responses to quickly get rid of dead cells and regenerate new ones. In essence, this is the most rapid stimulation of cell generation, known to have the most rapid healing rate of any technology out there.
EPAT can be used for acute and chronic musculo-skeletal pain – even knots, dysfunction, plantar fasciitis, Achilles Tendonitis and tendonosis, chronic heel pain, tendonal insertional pain, acute and chronic muscle pain, myofascial trigger points, and the list goes on. There have been very few side effects reported – in few cases, skin bruising may occur, and patients may feel sore afterward, as though they have worked out. Patients who choose EPAT treatment should not take NSAIDs (including ibuprofen, Motrin, Advil, Naproxen, Aleve, and Aspirin) for two weeks prior to and one month after the administration of EPAT, as they interfere with the hormones that regenerate your cells.
EPAT is available for a wide range of patients. Research suggests to postpone EPAT treatment for pregnant women, for deep venous thrombosis or malignancy cases, or if you are taking blood thinners. These studies suggest that women should wait until four months after pregnancy to receive EPAT treatment, waiting for regular swelling in the feet to go down, and for the hormones that act as muscle relaxants during pregnancy to level out.
While the initial fees for EPAT are expensive, you can rest assured that they are cost-effective in the long run. EPAT is not covered by insurance. You can expect to pay $300 for a series of three treatments, not including the fee of a co-pay for your office visit and evaluation charge. Inquire with your qualified health savings account or your employer’s flexible payment medical savings account, as these can usually be used to pay for the treatment. If a 4th and 5th treatment is necessary, you can expect to pay $100 per treatment. Despite these initial costs, remember that surgery is much pricier, and that EPAT is proven to be much more effective than other treatments. Additionally, patients treated with EPAT are immediately fully weight bearing, have no incision, no risk of infection or scar tissue, experience very few (if any) side effects, and do not need to be put under anesthesia. Overall, EPAT is sure to save money and time, and to accelerate your road back to having healthy feet!
So inquire with Dr. Murray and Dr. Chang to see if EPAT is the right treatment for you. Blue Ridge Foot and Ankle is excited to bring such an effective and preeminent technology to the office, in order to serve you with top quality and cutting edge medical care!
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What is EPAT?
Extracorporeal pulse activation treatment (EPAT®) is the most advanced and highly effective noninvasive treatment method approved by the FDA to treat acute or chronic muscle and tendon pain by stimulating blood circulation and accelerating the healing process. Damaged tissue gradually regenerates and eventually heals. Patients with heel pain (plantar fasciitis) or other tendon pain like Achilles tendonitis can benefit from this treatment.
How does EPAT work?
The treatment utilizes a unique set of acoustic pressure waves that are delivered through the body and focused on the site of pain/injury with a special applicator. These pressure waves stimulate the metabolism, enhance blood circulation and accelerate the healing process.
How is EPAT performed?
During the EPAT procedure, the doctor will apply gel to the targeted area and then move the device applicator in circular motions over the area. The applicator delivers pressure waves into the painful area, which gradually regenerate the damaged tissue.
How long does this treatment take?
Treatment sessions take approximately 15 minutes per site and vary slightly depending on the site to be treated. Generally 3 treatment sessions are necessary and are performed on a weekly interval. If you are improving, but not completely better; up to 5 treatments can be performed.
What conditions can be treated with EPAT?
EPAT can be used to treat many painful soft tissue injuries. Including: plantar fasciitis, achilles tendonitis, tendon insertional pain, acute and chronic muscle pain, and myofascial trigger points.
What are the results of this EPAT?
After EPAT, some patients may experience immediate pain relief, while for others it may take up to four weeks before significant relief is felt. Over 80 percent of patients treated report to be pain free and/or have significant pain reduction.
Is it safe?
Yes. This FDA approved technology was developed in Europe and is currently used around the globe. A wealth of medical experience, state-of-the-art engineering and optimal quality have been built into each EPAT device, and extensive studies and tests have confirmed its safety and efficacy.
Is EPAT safe for pregnant patients?
EPAT is a safe treatment, but has never been tested on pregnant patients. Patients are advised to wait at least 3 months post partum before treatment, as many foot pains subside after weight loss and hormonal equilibrium is reached.
What are the expected results?
Most people will experience pain relief after 3 treatments. Some patients report immediate pain relief after the first treatment, but maximum relief can take up to four weeks after the last treatment to begin. Over 80% of patients treated report to be pain free or have significant pain reduction.
Are there any special aftercare instructions?
All patients receiving EPAT therapy should be off all anti-inflammatory medication for a minimum of 2 weeks prior to the procedure and 4 weeks after. This includes common over the counter medication such as, ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil), naproxen (Aleve) and aspirin. Your doctor will provide you with detailed after care instructions.
What are the possible side-effects or complications?
EPAT is a non-invasive treatment and has virtually no risks or side effects. In some cases patients may experience some minor discomfort which may continue for a few days. On rare occasion, the skin may become bruised or red after the treatment.
Who should not have EPAT?
EPAT should not be used in people who have deep venous thrombosis or malignancy. It is also best to avoid the procedure if you are taking blood thinners.
Why consider EPAT?
EPAT has a proven success rate equal to or better than traditional treatment methods (including surgery) without the risks or lengthy recovery time. It is performed in your physician’s office without the need for anesthesia.
Is EPAT covered by insurance?
No, unfortunately insurance companies do not pay for EPAT, though the cost of EPAT can often be reimbursed from a qualified health savings account. Non-covered services and/or procedures without billable terminology are paid to the office by the patient at the time of service; a claim will not be submitted to the insurance, though our office can provide receipts for reimbursement accounts to consider.
How much does it cost?
EPAT is an affordable alternative to invasive surgery, lengthy physical therapy and other costly treatments. This treatment usually involves 3 visits to our office. You can expect to pay $100 plus your insurance copay per visit.
How can I get more information about EPAT?
The physicians at Blue Ridge Foot and Ankle Clinic all have experience in providing EPAT treatment and are the best people to speak with if you have additional questions regarding the procedure. Call or contact our office for a consultation. There is also much more extensive information available at www.curamedix.com