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EPAT for Plantar Fasciitis

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Extracorporeal pulse activation technology uses acoustic or shock waves to treat pain and inflammation of the plantar fascia.

Written by

Dr. Varshini

Medically reviewed by

Dr. Anuj Gupta

Published At November 2, 2023
Reviewed AtApril 12, 2024


Plantar fasciitis, a prevalent foot ailment, manifests as inflammation and discomfort in the plantar fascia, a substantial fibrous structure that traverses below the foot. Afflicting a vast global populace, this incapacitating affliction severely impairs the ability of individuals to ambulate and participate in their daily routines with ease. Though conventional remedies such as rest, orthotics, and physical therapy have demonstrated efficacy, the spotlight now shines on an innovative and transformative solution known as extracorporeal pulse activation technology (EPAT) for its remarkable effectiveness in addressing plantar fasciitis.

What Are the Clinical Features Observed in Plantar Fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis can cause symptoms like:

  • Heavy pain in the heel.

  • Stiffness after waking up.

  • Pain when standing for a long time.

  • Tenderness on palpation of the region.

  • Pain radiating to the foot.

  • Chances of limping with swelling of the affected site.

  • Increase in pain when doing vigorous activities like running or exercising.

What Is EPAT?

Extracorporeal Pulse Activation Technology (EPAT) is a cutting-edge medical procedure recognized as shockwave therapy. It employs acoustic waves to instigate the process of healing and alleviate discomfort in afflicted tissues without the need for invasive measures. Originally devised to address kidney stones, EPAT's triumph sparked curiosity in diverse medical domains, encompassing orthopedics and sports medicine.

How Does EPAT Work?

EPAT operates on the principles of acoustic wave technology, employing specialized pulses of energy to stimulate the innate healing mechanisms of the body. When the handheld device delivers these acoustic waves to the targeted area, they penetrate the affected tissues, instigating an enhanced blood flow and cellular regeneration response. The controlled mechanical stress applied during the process facilitates tissue repair and diminishes inflammation, promoting the revitalization of damaged structures. Furthermore, EPAT effectively breaks down scar tissue, facilitating the growth of healthier tissues and culminating in an accelerated healing process.

Who Is the Ideal Candidate for EPAT?

EPAT is commonly advised for individuals diagnosed with chronic plantar fasciitis, particularly those who have exhibited limited responsiveness to traditional interventions. The treatment gains prominence as a viable option when conservative approaches have fallen short in bestowing adequate relief or if the patient desires to circumvent the prospect of surgical intervention.

How Is EPAT Done for Plantar Fasciitis?

  • Commencing with a comprehensive evaluation, a skilled medical professional or a podiatrist navigates the patient to an optimal position, poised for transformative treatment.

  • The precise placement of the handheld EPAT device ensures the targeted delivery of acoustic waves to the affected area.

  • Guided by the baton of a handheld EPAT device, resolute acoustic waves are conducted to resonate with the affected tissues, awakening dormant regenerative symphonies. Each movement, a meticulously timed allegro, lasts between ten to 30 minutes, finely tuned to the individual's unique composition. These waves effectively penetrate the damaged tissues, stimulating blood flow, cellular activity, and tissue regeneration. Multiple sessions are often recommended to improve prognosis and treatment outcomes in this procedure.

While the EPAT procedure is generally received with a favorable response, some patients may encounter mild discomfort during treatment. Fortunately, the amplitude of the acoustic waves can be fine-tuned to harmonize with each individual's unique pain thresholds.

How Is Post-Treatment Care Done?

  • It is essential to allow the treated foot to rest and avoid high-impact activities immediately after the EPAT session.

  • It is also necessary to avoid overexertion.

  • Choose supportive footwear with good cushioning. Avoid wearing unsupportive or worn-out shoes that may aggravate the condition.

  • Minimize activities that put excessive strain on the feet, such as running or jumping, during the initial stages of recovery.

  • Applying cold compression or ice packs can help in reducing inflammation after EPAT treatment.

What Are the Side Effects of EPAT?

  • Certain individuals might encounter slight unease or discomfort while undergoing the EPAT procedure. However, this discomfort is usually temporary and subsides quickly.

  • In some cases, there may be minor swelling in the treated area, which usually diminishes without intervention.

  • Following the EPAT procedure, some patients may experience a temporary increase in symptoms. This is a normal part of the healing process and should resolve as healing progresses.

What Are the Advantages of EPAT for Plantar Fasciitis?

  • EPAT's non-invasive essence circumvents the need for incisions or intrusive implements, obviating the risks and protracted recoveries associated with surgical interventions.

  • Unlike conventional treatments and surgical procedures, EPAT boasts an inconspicuous side effect profile. Patients may encounter only transient and tolerable discomfort during treatment.

  • EPAT facilitates an expedited resumption of daily activities post-treatment, exempting individuals from prolonged convalescence and constraints on movement.

  • EPAT serves as a catalyst for tissue revitalization, rousing augmented blood flow and cellular activity. The dynamic regeneration process not only heals impaired tissues but fosters the growth of robust tissues, ensuring lasting benefits.

  • EPAT emerges as the panacea for chronic plantar fasciitis cases, proving efficacious where conventional treatments falter, endowing renewed hope to the afflicted.

  • Beyond plantar fasciitis, EPAT's virtuosity extends to diverse musculoskeletal and orthopedic conditions, widening its purview and accentuating its value in the medical realm.

Disadvantages of EPAT

  • The cost of EPAT treatment can be a deterrent for some, as it tends to be relatively expensive compared to traditional interventions.

  • The limited accessibility of EPAT in certain medical facilities or geographical areas may pose challenges for patients seeking this specific treatment.

  • The need for multiple treatment sessions may extend the overall treatment duration, demanding a greater time commitment from patients.

  • EPAT's efficacy comes with a trade-off of potential temporary discomfort during treatment, which could affect patient comfort levels.

  • EPAT may not be suitable for all individuals due to certain medical conditions or unique foot abnormalities.

  • In some cases, EPAT may serve only as an adjunct to other treatments.


Extracorporeal pulse activation technology (EPAT) has emerged as a game-changer in the treatment of plantar fasciitis. This non-invasive, efficient, and safe procedure offers significant pain relief and tissue regeneration, helping patients regain their mobility and quality of life. With the continuous progression of medical technology, it is probable that EPAT will gain more prominence as a sought-after alternative for individuals enduring chronic plantar fasciitis.

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Dr. Anuj Gupta
Dr. Anuj Gupta

Spine Surgery


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