Technological discoveries continue to improve the diagnosis and treatment of foot pain disorders. Podiatrists use digital technology to assess tissues, tendons, ligaments, and bones for inflammation, fractures, or trauma. In addition, technologically innovative solutions promote quicker diagnosis and less invasive foot treatments for faster recovery and healing process.
In this article, you’ll find out how podiatry orthotics in Melbourne uses technology for foot pain disorders.
Using Pressure Waves
The Extracorporeal Pulse Activation Technology or EPAT utilizes acoustic pressure waves to stimulate the metabolism, enhance lymph and blood circulation, and accelerate the healing process of the damaged tissue of the feet. This non-invasive innovative technology treats acute or chronic foot muscle and tendon pain.
EPAT also induces vasodilation or dilation of blood vessels and neo-angiogenesis or new development of blood vessels. It breaks down scar tissue and adhesions, gradually accelerating the healing process.
Here are the things you need to know about EPAT when treating foot pain:
- Surgery Alternative: EPAT is an alternative treatment to surgery and has no side effects or risks for infection and scarring. This procedure doesn’t require anesthetic use and downtime.
- Procedure: The EPAT treatment is performed by a qualified medical practitioner in the exam room. Upon assessing the painful areas of the foot, the provider uses a handpiece that transmits acoustic energy. This device applies varying pressures over the painful area, titrating the treatment intensity depending on your response.
- Duration of Treatment: EPAT treatment has at least three sessions – five to seven days apart. The first EPAT session takes 15 minutes, while the subsequent sessions last about 10 minutes. The longer you’ve been suffering from foot pain, the more EPAT sessions you need to undergo for the best results.
- Expected Results: The healing effects of EPAT are at a cellular level. Hence, complete tissue regeneration doesn’t happen outright. Patients see results after three to five treatments. The full benefits are observable after 12 weeks of treatment. Some patients usually feel foot pain relief after the initial treatment.
This treatment is also applicable to children, just schedule an appointment with childrens orthotics Melbourne or any orthotic clinic near you to undergo this treatment.
Digital X-ray To Diagnose Foot Problems
Never ignore foot pain. One of the best ways to diagnose any foot problem is by taking digital images using an x-ray machine.
Digital x-rays can rule out foot problems, determining and visualizing fractures, tumors, and other foot conditions. X-ray images are instantaneous, enabling podiatrists to assess your foot accurately and provide treatment as soon as possible. A qualified technician positions your foot or ankle in front of the sensors. A digital x-ray captures the foot and transfers the images to a computer. The technician can adjust the foot image for the best quality, magnifying or rescanning the area as needed.
Do you have concerns about radiation exposure? As compared to traditional x-rays, the sensors of digital x-rays that capture and transfer image data are more sensitive. Hence, digital x-rays don’t require as much radiation to capture a clear photo.
With the help of digital x-ray machines, doctors can present different treatment options so patients can return to their normal, pain-free life.
Ultrasound To Diagnose Foot Problems
Ultrasound machines present a two-dimensional or 2D video of the bones, assisting doctors in diagnosing foot conditions. This technology allows the podiatrist to check if the foot and ankle are properly aligned. The healthcare provider can identify the bones, tendons, and ligaments as the patient moves those structures. By doing so, the soreness and areas of inflammation are captured and assessed.
As you use an ultrasound machine, a small sound wave passes through the probe, penetrating the foot structures. The sound wave bounces off from different foot structures. As the podiatrist distinguishes the solid and liquid areas of your foot, he or she rules out neuromas, stress fractures, Achilles tendonitis, or plantar fasciitis.
Here are some of the common foot pain disorders and how they look like in an ultrasound:
- Neuromas: These lesions are typically round or ovoid and are well-defined. They are found in the intermetatarsal space (located in the forefoot) close to the metatarsal head or balls of the foot.
- Achilles Tendonitis: an ultrasound will show the tendon’s injury type. With transverse and longitudinal evaluation, the podiatrist can easily see the Achilles tendon as the transducer positions at an appropriate angle.
- Plantar Fasciitis: This foot pain disorder is usually diagnosed based on the patient’s medical history and thorough physical examination. The podiatrist will check for tender areas and with the help of an ultrasound, determine its cause. While using an ultrasound, the podiatrist can see the evidence of tissue thickening, perifascial fluid collections (due to inflammation), loss of fibrillar structure, hyperemia (increased blood flow), and calcifications (calcium deposits).
Computed Tomography Of The Foot
Computed tomography (CT) is an advanced diagnostic technology that provides foot scans in minutes. Modern CT scans nowadays are powered by artificial intelligence. This technology allows the podiatrist to evaluate the foot or ankle in three-dimensional images. It assists in assessing dislocations and subluxations.
CT scans provide better images than conventional X-rays as they accurately pinpoint a suspected problem. Some common foot problems that a CT scan can diagnose include deformities, arthritis, flat feet, tumors, foreign bodies, fractures, and infection.
Fungus Nail Laser Treatment
Onychomycosis treatment includes laser treatment. This nail fungal infection affects the fingernails or toenails. It causes discomfort, disfigurement, and pain, as well as physical limitations. Patients with this fungal infection even experience difficulty wearing shoes. So, patients with onychomycosis must undergo laser treatment for faster healing and recovery.
Fungus nail laser treatment reduces pain and reduces the possibility of hospital confinement. Hence, patients can stay flexible and comfortable. The treatment outcome is noticeable after one to two sessions, depending on the severity of the nail fungal infection.
It takes about six to eight weeks for a new nail structure to emerge after the initial treatment. Third laser treatment is necessary for definitive nail infection. The best results occur after nine to 12 months.
Podiatry orthotics in Melbourne uses technology for diagnosing and treating foot pain disorders. Some examples include EPAT, digital x-rays, and ultrasound. If you experience foot pain, soreness, inflammation, or stress, consult a podiatrist immediately to determine what’s causing the signs or symptoms.