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Radial Shockwave (EPAT)

Sports Medicine & Non-Surgical Orthopedic Physicians located in Boulder and Centennial, CO

Radial Shockwave (EPAT) services offered in Centennial and Boulder, CO

EPAT is a needle-free technique of utilizing pressure waves (shockwaves) to reduce tissue tension, adhesions and nerve sensitivity while improving blood flow and collagen synthesis. It is particularly helpful in relieving myofascial tension around an injured body part and as an adjunct to other regenerative therapies.

What is EPAT?

Extracorporeal Pulse Activation Therapy is a non-invasive treatment that takes advantage of radial shockwaves that cause tissue deformation (mechanotransduction) which leads to improved tissue metabolism, collagen synthesis and neuromodulation. All this leads to improved function, motion and decreased pain.

How does EPAT work?

The technology is based on the idea that pulsed pressure waves stimulate metabolism, enhance blood circulation and thus accelerate the healing process in the tissues treated. Damaged tissue is gradually able to regenerate and heal in most cases.

Why should I get EPAT? 

EPAT has proven success equal to or greater than that of traditional treatment methods (including steroid injections and surgery) in soft tissue injuries, without the risks, complications and lengthy recovery time. It does not require anesthesia, takes a minimal amount of time, and requires minimal activity restrictions post-treatment. 

What does EPAT treat?

EPAT treats both acute and chronic musculoskeletal soft tissue injuries and pain.

The most common conditions studied are chronic tendinopathies such as Plantar Fasciitis, Lateral Epicondylitis (Tennis Elbow), Achilles Tendonitis, and Patellar tendonitis. 

Other injuries treated include ligament strains, muscle strains and fascial injuries involving the neck, shoulder, back, upper extremity, lower extremity, foot and ankle and myofascial trigger points.

Do I need to do anything before my treatment with EPAT?

Yes- avoiding anti-inflammatory medications (such as NSAIDs and corticosteroids) before and after each treatment is recommended, as these medications impair the body's natural healing abilities we are trying to stimulate with shockwave therapy.

When can I resume physical activity post EPAT treatment?

There are NO activity restrictions post-treatment. It is safe and encouraged for patients to continue their physical therapy and home exercise programs during the course of treatment.

What is the duration of treatment with EPAT and how many treatment sessions will I need?

Treatment sessions each take between 10-15 minutes per treatment area. Generally, 4 once-weekly treatment sessions are necessary to satisfactorily treat a condition. In some instances, an additional 1-2 treatment sessions may be indicated in order to get maximal functional improvement and pain reduction.

What are the expected results with EPAT? 

Some patients report relief after only one treatment, but it is much more common to take up to 4 weeks and 3-4 treatments for pain relief to begin.

As with all "regenerative" treatments it takes 3-4 months for the body to go through the natural healing cycle, so pain relief can take up to 3-4 months as a result.

Most studies (and there are many) report 75-80% of patients to have significant pain reduction with a 4-treatment course of therapy.

While pain reduction is our ultimate goal, improvements in strength and function are often the first changes seen and are a good indicator that pain-relief is on the way.

Will insurance cover the cost of EPAT treatments?

Unfortunately, insurance companies do not yet cover EPAT treatments, despite the wealth of proven benefits in studies across the globe. We have thus created a 4-pack bundled payment option to help reduce the cost per treatment, and also offer individual treatment sessions for a slightly higher per-treatment cost.

What post procedure precautions and recommendations are there for EPAT?

EPAT is intended to stimulate your body's immune system healing response and blood flow.

-As such, please limit icing to 10-15 minutes per hour; warm heat is better as it stimulates blood flow but may increase pain a bit short-term.

-Avoid NSAIDs such as ibuprofen, naprosyn, meloxicam, diclofenac, aspirin, etc as they stifle the body's healing response

-Avoid high level activity for 3-4 days and instead keep activities that utilize the treated area to a light or moderate level

-Limit alcohol intake to 1 glass per day