Alamitos - Seal Beach Podiatry Group

Extracorporeal Pulse Activated Technology - EPAT®

Extracorporeal Pulse Activated Technology or EPAT® Shockwave Therapy is the most advanced and highly effective non-invasive treatment solution for acute and chronic musculoskeletal pain cleared by the FDA. This scientifically proven procedure represents a breakthrough in regenerative medicine treatment options for a broad range of musculoskeletal disorders/conditions utilizing a proprietary set of unique acoustic pressure waves that stimulate the metabolism, enhance blood circulation and accelerate the healing process.

EPAT® Shockwave Therapy enables doctors to provide the most advanced, highly effective treatment options more quickly and economically. 

The benefits of EPAT® Shockwave Therapy compared to traditional treatment methods include:

  • No down time
  • No anesthesia
  • No incisions or scarring.
  • Completely non-invasive
  • No risk of infection
  • Improved Clinical outcomes 
  • Faster, easier healing 
  • Reduced expenditures (Cost benefit)

Why Consider Non-Invasive EPAT® Shockwave Therapy for Heel Pain and other Musculoskelatal Conditions?

EPAT® Shockwave Therapy is completely non-invasive and has no dangerous side effects. A number of medical studies have shown that it is an effective treatment for various causes of heel pain.

How Non-Invasive EPAT® Shockwave Therapy Works

Extracorporeal Pulse Activation Technology (EPAT®) is proprietary technology based on several unique sets of acoustic pressure waves that activate biologic and angiogenic responses including new vascularization and microcirculatory improvement, helping to restore the body’s normal healing processes and tissue regeneration.

These shockwaves are generated from the EPAT device and focused onto the painful body part. The shockwaves trigger the body’s repair mechanisms. The concept behind shockwave therapy is that the shockwave stimulates and reactivates healing to encourage new blood vessel formation and other elements necessary to advance normal tissue healing. Additionally, shockwaves help to over-stimulate pain transmission nerves, which can lead to a reduction in sensitivity and pain.

EPAT® Technology offers gentle, fast, and highly effective non-invasive treatment without the need for ultrasound guidance, anesthesia, medication or surgical intervention to achieve effective and sustaining results. There are no incisions, no risk of infection, no needles, and no down time. 

Indications for EPAT® Shockwave Therapy in the Lower Extremity

Conditions that often benefit from shockwave therapy:

Plantar Fasciitis:

  • EPAT treatment has been shown to be one of the most effective treatments for plantar fasciitis with the highest level of medical evidence.
  • EPAT is about 70% effective in resolving plantar fasciitis associated pain and has no side effects or complications.
  • EPAT is an adjunct to other treatments to treat plantar fasciitis.

Achilles Tendonopathy / Tendonitis:

  • Along with eccentric loading exercises and reducing tension on the tendon, current studies have shown that EPAT should be included as an initial treatment.
  • The highest level of medical evidence has shown that success increases from 28% to 68% with the use of EPAT along with eccentric loading compared to eccentric exercise alone with insertional Achilles pain.

How Long Do the Treatments Take?

Each treatment take approximately 15 minutes. Typically 1 treatment is performed weekly basis for 3 weeks. Patients are evaluated for improvement at 6 and 12 weeks after the first treatment.

What Results Can I Expect?

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  • You may have initial improvement but maximum benefit/improvement is usually seen at about 12 weeks after the final session
  • Shockwave treatment stimulates the healing process, so it takes a number of weeks to see results. As opposed to a steroid injection, which sometimes renders quicker results.
  • Medical studies show about 70% of patients suffering from plantar fasciitis or Achilles tendonitis will find relief with EPAT therapy.

How is the EPAT® Shockwave Therapy Performed?

Coupling gel is applied to your foot in the area requiring treatment. EPAT pressure waves are then released via the applicator while moving it over the treatment area.

Who should not receive EPAT® Shockwave Therapy?

Patients with pacemakers and patients taking medications that may prolong or interfere with blood clotting (Coumadin) are not candidates for EPAT. Also, children or pregnant women are not considered appropriate candidates for EPAT.

What are the side effects of EPAT® Shockwave Therapy?

EPAT has virtually no serious side effects. The patient may experience is minor pain or discomfort during and after treatment. After the treatment they may have side effects minor skin bruising, reddening, or swelling of the treated area. Over a few days these resolve

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Does Insurance Cover EPAT® Shockwave Therapy?

  • Despite the medical evidence, Insurance does not cover the cost of the EPAT procedure.
  • If you have a Flexible Spending Account (FSA) through your employer, you can usually use FSA funds to pay for the EPAT procedure. This can be confirmed with your plan administrator.

How Much Does EPAT® Shockwave Therapy Cost?

  • EPAT costs $450 for three sessions.  Most studies recommend a series of three sessions over a 3 – 4 week period.
  • Our protocol is to do 1 session per week for 3 weeks then see you back in 6 weeks for a follow-up visit to check your progress.
  • According to most studies, EPAT is successful about 70% of the time.

What people are saying about EPAT® SHOCKWAVE THERAPY

“My name is K.C., I’m 46 years old & I’ve had plantar fasciitis for over a decade. I have very high arches & sometimes I’m on my feet for hours at work. I was always limping & in pain despite cortisone shots, custom orthotics & lots of physical therapy. I was a bit skeptical when Dr. Richie first described the EPAT / Shockwave Therapy because nothing had really worked before. At the most I was hoping that it would at least get me to where I could take my dog for a walk without hobbling.

The Shockwave Therapy hurt but it was bearable because Dr. Richie can adjust the intensity of the acoustic pressure waves. I found it helpful to have a towel to squeeze during my treatments. He had warned me that the full effects of the 3 weekly treatments would take months, but by the next week I had noticed a positive change! After the third appointment, the pain in my heel had gone from a constant 9 to a dull 2. Pretty soon after that I noticed I didn’t limp anymore, no matter how far I walked. The only time I felt twinges of pain was if I jogged for maybe 20 yards while playing with my dog.

For less than $400 I finally had a pain free foot! It was definitely money well spent. After a year, I asked for & went through another round of EPAT treatments. My hope is to have a completely healed ligament in the near future.

I also have tennis elbow & mentioned my results from EPAT to my orthopedist & she NEVER said it can be used for elbows! I was about to pay $1000 for PRP even though it has pretty mixed reviews & I really don’t like needles. I am lucky I told Dr. Richie what I was planning for my elbow because he said that EPAT is very effective for lateral epicondylitis too.

Dr. Richie I am so very grateful that you offer the most effective treatments available! You are not the first podiatrist I’ve ever seen, but you will certainly be the last!

Thank you so much!
— — K.C.

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