Waves: How they have revolutionized the healthcare industry.

Essay by MaNwOoTHigh School, 12th gradeA, February 2006

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A scientific breakthrough that was discovered in early 2001 uses waves in the treatment of chronic foot or heal pain (1USA Today). It is indeed the same system used for the past few years in dealing with kidney stones (2Lex18), but it has just recently started being used for heel and other foot pain. It is a relatively rare procedure as of now, but is growing steadily more and more popular among podiatric patients. Ultimately, it's a solution that will provide a safe and non-invasive alternate to traditional foot surgery, which is the main reason for it's growing popularity.

The creators of the extracorporeal shock wave therapy (ESWT) as it's called, were a group of learned doctors of podiatry. Little more information about the creators is known, as it was part of a large project spanning many states and doctors. The date it was first introduced to the public and available for use was in late January to late February of 2001.

The ESWT was created as an alternative to surgery in mainly the curing of plantar fascitis, which is an inflammation of the tissue that connects the arch of the foot to the heel bone. It's a very common place for discomfort and often pain, especially if you're someone who is on their feet for most of the day. It's attractive for people to try because of the amount of time it takes, which is way less, the lack of post-operation complications, and since the surface of the skin was never broken, there is not even a remote chance of infections in the treated area. The estimated healing time after an ESWT as opposed to regular surgery is phenomenally less. ESWT takes only four to five days of immobility to fully recover from (American College Foot...