Foxhall Podiatry Associates, PC

Experienced Podiatrist in Washington, DC

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(202) 966-4811

3301 New Mexico Ave NW Suite 232 Washington, DC 20016

Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy

Foxhall Podiatry offers Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy’ or ESWT. ESWT is an non-invasive treatment for a variety of podiatric conditions, including:

  • Heel Pain
  • Plantar Fasciitis
  • Achilles Tendonitis

What is Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy (ESWT)?

Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy is a method of therapeutic treatment for soft tissue injuries. ESWT is one of the few medical technologies that performs best on people with chronic conditions that have not responded to traditional therapies.

Shock wave therapy was originally developed by Dornier MedTech to break up kidney stones nearly a quarter of a century ago. Since then, physicians discovered that Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy (ESWT) can benefit people with soft tissue and bone injuries.

The treatment was originally developed to break down kidney stones and has been used in this way for the last 20 years. It was noticed that patients receiving this treatment also noticed a decrease in pain from other soft tissue injuries. The technology was then adapted to be suitable for use specifically on these areas.

How Does ESWT Work?

  • ESWT works by passing ‘shock waves’ – short, but intense energy waves – into the tissues. The shock waves help accelerate the body’s own healing processes to heal tissues and relive pain.
  • One things that ESWT does is to stimulate fibroblast and tenocyte production through a process called cavitation. Fibroblast or tenocyte cells make up your body’s connective tissues, such as tendons and the fascia. Stimulating them with ESWT causes them to heal faster.
  • ESWT can also diminish pain by overstimulating the nerves that send pain sensations to the brain. The overstimulation exhausts them and makes them send fewer pain signals.
  • Another thing EWST can do is to break down pathological calcification deposits, also known as a spurs. Depending upon your condition, this may or may not be the goal, but if it is, ESWT can be helpful.

Is ESWT effective?

  • Our own experience at Foxhall Podiatry indicate that ESWT has a high success rate.
  • In the FDA study, a group of 150 plantar fasciitis patients was asked to rate their pain level on a scale of 1 to 10. The average pain level before treatment was 7.7.
  • After receiving just one ESWT treatment, the patients were asked one year later to rate their pain level on the same 1 to 10 scale. Of those patients that responded, their average pain score had dropped from 7.7 to just 0.6. That is a dramatic 92% reduction in pain.
  • In addition, a higher percentage of people report having less pain after ESWT treatment than for any other surgical or non-surgical procedure.
  • Importantly, ESWT is also very safe.