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Family Foot Care & Surgery, LLC

Get Ready, Get Set – What to Expect from Shockwave

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Part of what makes thrill rides and rollercoasters fun is anticipation and fear of the unknown. You’re not always sure when that next drop will come, or when the ride will launch, or when it will end. For rides, this can be fun. In life and foot pain, they aren’t fun. They’re more like the fear you feel on a large drop without the thrill of the ride. Knowing a little bit about what to expect can make a big difference for your comfort, particularly when it comes to unfamiliar treatment methods like shockwave therapy.

Shockwave—or extracorporeal shockwave therapy—is generally saved for chronic soft tissue problems that aren’t responding to other conservative methods. It’s most effective on long-term conditions like plantar fasciitis and Achilles tendinitis. It’s a noninvasive therapy that uses pulses of high-frequency sound waves to stimulate the tissue to repair itself.

The whole procedure is fairly quick and easy. You’ll need to have a careful evaluation to determine if this is the best option for you. Once you decide to go ahead with the treatment, though, the process is simple.

During the actual procedure, a special gel will be applied to the part of the foot that will be treated with shockwave therapy. Then our team will place a probe there. The probe will deliver the energy pulses. The gel helps the waves conduct from the probe to your tissues more smoothly. Once the session is over, you’ll need to take it easy on your foot and allow the tissues to begin the healing process, but you will be able to walk.

There are two types of the extracorporeal shockwave therapy: high energy and low energy. The high energy type uses powerful pulses that you may feel. For that reason, your foot is usually numbed first with anesthetic to prevent discomfort. Low energy waves don’t need the anesthesia; most people have no problems or pain with the procedure.

In either case, you may need multiple treatments to eliminate the pain in your foot. This is normal. We’ll talk through all of this, and anything else you should expect, when you have an evaluation. Don’t let worries about treatment keep you from getting care that can alleviate your pain. Make an appointment at Family Foot Care & Surgery, LLC today. Use our online request forms. You can also call our offices: (203) 288-4055 for Hamden, or (203) 876-7736 for Milford.
Dr. Sanjay V. Patel
Dr. Patel has over 20 years of experience in the field of podiatric medicine and podiatric surgery.
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