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January 04, 2015
Category: Uncategorized

Plantar fasciitis and Achilles Tendonitis are two of the most common painful problems that affect the foot and ankle.  While there are MANY conservative treatment options for both conditions, many conservative treatments give TEMPORARY and/or PARTIAL results.  The use of high energy pulses to treat heel pain is NOT a new phenomenon.  In that late 1990's, and early 2000's, SHOCKWAVE THERAPY became a very effective and somewhat popular way to treat these problems, especially Plantar Fasciitis, which is extremely common, and for which surgical intervention often reveals unpredictable results.  Shockwave Therapy became less and less popular as the cost of these treatments were often as high as $2000 per treatment, and usually NOT covered under traditional health insurance.  In the past few years, less expensive and more portable units to transfer kinetic energy into the body have come on the horizon.  RADIAL PULSE THERAPY delivers high energy pulses for 1.Efficient energy transfer to effect muscle tone. 2.Treatment of muscle aches and pain. 3. Increasing localized blood circulation.  One of the radial pulse therapy units is marketed under the name "EnPuls."  While it can be used for back pain and upper extremity complaints as well, my expertise with this unit is in foot and ankle pathology.  I, specifically, have found this unit very helpful in the treatment of PLANTAR FASCIITIS and ACHILLES TENDONITIS with or without heel spur and bursitis.  Usually about five treatments are needed, spaced about 7-10 days apart, to give significant and lasting relief.  Unlike traditional shockwave treatment, there is NO need for anesthesia, either local or general.  The treatment is not painful, but may be slightly uncomfortable, especially over bony prominences such as the back of the heel.  Additionally, there is some improvement in heel pain, almost immediately.  While it still may take a few days to see a marked reduction in symptoms, the pain in the heel typically does not increase for a few days or weeks, as has occurred in many with traditional shockwave therapy.  Like traditional shockwave therapy, the patient should NOT consume oral anti-inflammatory medication (prescription or over the counter meds - including aspirin, Ibuprofen, or naproxen) for a period of time after the treatment(s).   In those cases where other conservative treatments have not been effective, Radial Pulse Therapy with the enPuls (Zimmer Medizin systems) has been a welcome addition treating heel pain, and can often eliminate the need for surgery.


Richard S. Eby, DPM

(423) 622-2663