Shockwave therapy has been used in the field of medicine since 1982. It is also called Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy. Shockwave therapy is a multidisciplinary technique used in physiotherapy, veterinary, orthopedic, sports medicine, and urology medicine. It is known for restoring mobility and accelerating pain relief.
Shockwave therapy is a technique that uses a wand to apply a series of low-energy acoustic waves to an injury. Shockwave therapy became a concept after groundbreaking research unveiled that sound waves could break down kidney stones and gallstones. Furthermore, research has shown shockwave therapy to have a beneficial effect in treating several chronic illnesses.
Shockwave therapy aims to stimulate the body's natural healing system. Therefore, it is the perfect treatment for lingering pain or pain associated with an illness.
Shockwave therapy speeds up the healing process by sparking metabolism and improving blood circulation to restore injured tissue. In essence, strong energy waves are applied to the injured area. The shock waves are applied for short bursts, forming micro-cavitation bubbles that swell and break. The pressure generated by the micro-cavitation bubbles pierces the tissue triggering the cells in charge of healing bone and connective tissues. Therefore, shockwave therapy is
beneficial for activating the healing response when the body cannot trigger the response on its own.
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There are multiple benefits associated with shockwave therapy, including:
- Non-invasive treatment
- Faster healing
- No Adverse Side Effects
- New blood vessels are created
- Reverses chronic inflammation
Shockwave therapy is used to treat many illnesses, including:
- Morton's Neuroma
- Achilles Tendinopathy
- Plantar Fasciitis
- Shoulder Tendinopathies
- Hallux Rigid
- Lateral/ Elbow Tendinopathy (Golfers Elbow)
- Anterior Tibial Syndrome
- Stress Fractures
- Frozen Shoulder
- Hamstring tendon
- Trochanteric Bursitis
- Adductor Tendon
- Heel Spurs
- Patellar Tendinopathy (Jumpers Knee)
Is Shockwave Therapy Safe?
Yes, shockwave therapy is safe. Persons may experience discomfort during the session, but we always change the settings to ensure the patient is comfortable during the session.
How Long does Shockwave Therapy Last?
The length of each session depends on each individual case. Typically, 1000-3000 shocks are issued during each session which takes about 5-10 minutes.
How Many Shockwave Therapy Treatments Do I Need?
The number of shockwave therapy sessions you need depends on your condition. Typically, 3 treatments administered once every week for a specific period of time is enough for acute conditions. However, chronic conditions need 4 sessions. If the illness is severe, then there is a slight chance you may need more sessions.
What Are The Risks Associated with Shockwave Therapy?
Shockwave therapy is mostly successful. However, even though the chance is small, there are times when it does not work. Shockwave therapy may cause more pain and increased sensitivity. The area the treatment was applied to may also become red. However, these symptoms will usually fade away after 24-48 hours.
When Should Shockwave Therapy Not Be Used
Shockwave therapy should not be used if?
- You are pregnant
- Have had a steroid injection applied to the injured area within the past 3 months
- Have an injury, infection, or tissue pains at the suggested treatment site
- Have neuropathy (poor sensation) or hypersensitivity at the proposed treatment site under the age of 18
- In addition to this, you should alert the physician if you are on blood thinner medication or have
- a cardiac pacemaker since shockwave therapy is not recommended for patients with these conditions.
What Should I Do After Shockwave Therapy Treatment?
After your shockwave therapy, you can perform your normal activities. However, do not exercise for 2 days after your session. Additionally, do not add ice to the treatment site or take non- steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as aspirin or ibuprofen. These medications will inhibit the healing process stimulated by shockwave therapy.