Shockwave Therapy

Epic Healthcare » Shockwave Therapy

Photograph of Storz Medical Shockwave Therapy machine in chiropractors office Shockwave Therapy combines radial pressure waves or focused shockwave treatment and vibration therapy. It delivers simple, non-surgical, and non-invasive treatment for chronic musculoskeletal disorders and problems, persistent pain, or nagging joint issues, and it is recommended by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE). Shockwave Therapy is clinically proven, recognized by the top orthopedic hospitals, and used by high-profile professional sports bodies.

What is shockwave therapy?

Extracorporeal shock wave therapy ESWT is a non-invasive, effective treatment that can eliminate pain, restore full mobility, and greatly improve quality of life, with beneficial effects typically experienced after only one or two sessions. Some people refer to this tool as a stem cell machine because it stimulates your own stem cells to assist in healing and rehabilitation.

What Shockwave Therapy Can Treat

Extracorporeal shockwave therapy or acoustic wave therapy is perfect for musculoskeletal conditions and pain relief. Increasing healthy blood flow, blood vessel formation, and reducing inflammation, shockwave technology is an effective treatment for an affected area:

• Knee Pain
• Shoulder Pain and tendinitis of the shoulder
• Hip Pain
• Neck & Back Pain
• Plantar Fasciitis
• Chronic tendinopathy/chronic pain
• Calcifications (calcific tendinitis and rotator cuff calcific)
• Tennis Elbow (elbow tendinopathy and lateral epicondylitis)
• Achilles’ tendinitis

Patient laying down being treated with shockwave therapy gun
Patient sitting being treated with shockwave therapy to the neck

Shockwave therapy is a novel method for treating a variety of musculoskeletal diseases, particularly when other conservative treatments have failed. This type of therapy is regarded as safe, non-invasive, low-cost, and free of the risks associated with surgical procedures and postoperative pain.

ESWT side effects are limited to mild bruising, swelling, pain, numbness, or tingling in the treated area, and recovery time is short when compared to surgical intervention.

History of Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy

In the 1960s and 1970s, scientists began investigating the potential use of shockwaves on human tissue, and by the mid 1980s, shock waves were being used as a lithotripsy treatment to break up kidney stones and gallstones. This marked the beginning of non-invasive technologies for treating human tissues.

Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy (ESWT), also known as shockwave therapy, was first used in clinical practice in 1982 to treat urologic conditions. This technology’s success in the treatment of urinary stones quickly established it as a first-line, noninvasive, and effective method. Following that, ESWT was investigated in orthopedics, where it was discovered that it could loosen the cement in total hip arthroplasty revisions. Furthermore, animal studies conducted in the 1980s revealed that ESWT could improve fracture healing by augmenting the bone-cement interface, increasing osteogenic response, and improving osteogenic response. While shockwave therapy has been shown to aid in fracture healing, the majority of orthopedic research has concentrated on upper and lower extremity tendinopathies, fasciopathies, and soft tissue conditions.

Shock wave therapy has been used to treat certain musculoskeletal disorders for about 15 years.

ESWT employs a series of low-energy acoustic waves delivered to the patient’s skin via a transducer and a topical gel as a medium. It is completely non-invasive and does not necessitate the use of anesthesia or pain medications.

Shockwaves work by stimulating tissue repair and reducing pain by activating the body’s innate healing mechanisms. After just one treatment session, many patients report significant pain relief.

Patients may experience temporary swelling and tenderness at the treatment site because ESWT causes an inflammatory response, which is the body’s healing mechanism. This is a healthy healing response that should not be suppressed with anti-inflammatory drugs.

Shockwave therapy is particularly effective in the treatment of tendinopathies, which are often slow to heal, as well as tendinosis, a degenerative condition of injured tendons. It is also beneficial in the healing of non-union bone fractures.

Are you a candidate for ESWT?

Regenerative medicine is one of the most difficult and intriguing fields of modern medicine. Extracorporeal shockwave therapy (ESWT) has been shown in basic research to be effective in stimulating biological activities involving intracellular and cell-matrix interactions. These interactions underpin current clinical applications and pave the way for new applications in tissue regeneration.

Reach out to the professionals at Epic Healthcare & Physical Medicine to learn more about physical therapy, the healing process, pain reduction, and the effects of ESWT or to request an appointment at (972) 355-0083.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is shockwave therapy effective in treating foot and ankle pain?

Yes. Shock wave therapy is quite effective when it comes to the treatment of plantar fasciitis and the treatment of chronic plantar fasciitis. In addition, it can also be used to treat pain associated with other conditions such as a heel spur, Achilles tendonitis, heel pain, chronic Achilles tendinopathy, and more. Most patients begin to experience pain relief in the affected area after about three treatments, while some saw results after the first session of shockwave treatment therapy.

Does shockwave therapy help with hip strain symptoms?

Treatment with shock waves has also been shown to help keep hip pain at bay. It does this by improving tendon elasticity, relieving pressure in arthritic hip joints, increasing blood flow, and helping heal osteoporotic arthritic hips. Shockwaves are also commonly used to treat trochanteric tendonitis or bursitis.

How do I decide if shockwave treatment is right for me?

There is a lot of evidence and scientific support indicating that fast and gentle shockwave therapy can help those suffering from painful and debilitating musculoskeletal conditions. However, there are some individuals who are not eligible to receive this form of treatment. Children, pregnant individuals, and those who take blood thinners, have open sores, have heart conditions, or those with a history of seizures may not be eligible for shockwave treatments. If you fall into any of these categories, speak with the professionals at Epic Healthcare & Physical Medicine to find out if you’re a candidate.

How long does a session of radial shock wave therapy take?

Generally, a shockwave therapy session takes between ten and fifteen minutes depending on what is being treated. Most treatments last between three and five sessions spaced five to ten days apart.

Is shockwave therapy good for shoulder pain?

Many people notice the benefits of shock wave treatment when it comes to shoulder pain. An older study looked into the effect of using extracorporeal shock wave therapy to treat rotator cuff problems. The energy emitted during treatment provided a significant reduction in rotator cuff calcific tendonitis for patients receiving either high energy or low energy shock waves in comparison to the control group.

What is scar tissue, and can you release it with shock wave therapy?

Scar tissue is simply a collection of collagen and cells made by the body as it attempts to repair injured tissue. Scar tissue is often dense and fibrous. Shock waves help improve blood circulation in the target area which helps the body break down this fibrous scar tissue.

How do shock waves differ from acoustic waves?

Acoustic waves and shock waves both are sound waves. The primary difference is that acoustic waves travel around 10 meters per second while shock waves travel around 1,500 meters per second.



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