If you’re suffering from chronic pain because of an injury or illness, you’ve probably searched high and low for some form of pain relief. Shockwave therapy is a form of treatment that can help to alleviate chronic pain.
What is shockwave therapy and how does it work? Can it help manage your pain and allow you to live life more freely? Take a look at all you need to know about shockwave treatment.
What is Shockwave Therapy?
Shockwave therapy is also known by two other names: Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy (ESWT) and Radial Shockwave Therapy (RSWT). It is only recently been used in treating painful joints and muscles.
It has been hugely successful in treating patients with musculoskeletal conditions. In addition to treating chronic pain, there are also no known side effects for patients undergoing the treatment.
What Does Shockwave Therapy Treat?
Shockwave therapy targets soft tissue pain. This means any pain coming from the muscles, tendons, or ligaments. It can also treat joint and bone conditions. Many patients who undergo shockwave therapy are athletes with sporting injuries or people who have overused muscles or tendons.
Anyone currently going through physiotherapy may want to add shockwave therapy to their treatment plan to target pain more thoroughly. Some of the conditions that shockwave therapy can improve include:
This is where there is pain or swelling of the achilles tendon. The tendon joins the heel to the calf.
This is associated with heel pain. The plantar fascia is what connects your heel bone to your toes.
The outer part of the elbow becomes painful with this. It usually happens after overusing the muscles attached to the elbow.
This is where the tendons in the forearm join the bony part of your elbow. You may feel pain in your forearm and wrist too.
This is common in both younger and older athletes. Pain may occur from the kneecap cartilage softening.
Pain usually occurs in the shins after exercise. This is not often a serious injury.
How Does It Work?
Shockwave therapy uses low energy waves, not to be confused with electric waves, delivered directly to the skin. These waves are placed through the skin at the affected area with the aim of treating, and even curing, chronic pain.
The radial waves work by sending a shockwave through the soft tissue and targetting specific spots where the patient would usually feel pain. The therapy is often delivered through a handheld device that connects to a machine.
This machine is what compresses air and turns it into sound waves that can be sent through the body. The process is similar to that of getting an ultrasound. Your practitioner may apply some gel to the patient’s body or the device and apply pressure using the device.
The therapy can cause a small amount of inflammation to the area being worked on. However, in the days following the treatment, the body will work to naturally heal the inflammation which will, in turn, stimulate the regeneration of cells.
As cells regenerate and repair, the patient will begin to feel less pain in the affected area. Similarly, shockwave therapy can help to reduce scar tissue by breaking it down and allowing the body to create more mobility.
Is Shockwave Therapy For You?
The best way to find out if shockwave therapy can benefit you is to talk with your doctor. A medical professional is best placed to view your medical history and present you with options. Why not browse through our website and take a look at more information on shockwave therapy or contact us with any queries?