Chronic musculoskeletal pain conditions affect about 20% of the adult population worldwide. Living with pain can be debilitating and difficult to manage.
What’s more, it can cause you a lot of stress and affect the quality of your life. While you can take pain medication, it may not offer much relief. Also, surgery may be daunting and risky.
Luckily, you can get pain relief through non-invasive shockwave therapy. Apart from offering pain relief, it addresses bone defects, several soft tissue disorders, and even erectile dysfunction. But how does shockwave therapy work?
Read the shockwave therapy guide to learn everything that you need to know about the treatment.
What is Shockwave Therapy?
Also known as extracorporeal shockwave therapy, shockwave therapy is a non-surgical treatment that involves the delivery of shock waves to your injured soft tissue to lessen pain and promote healing.
During the treatment, a series of acoustic wave pulses are applied to the affected area through your skin via a gel medium. Whether you have lingering pain due to an injury or pain resulting from an illness, shockwave therapy triggers your body’s natural healing response to offer relief.
What Conditions Can Be Treated With Shockwave Therapy?
Shockwave therapy machines can help treat various pain conditions your body experiences—from acute to chronic. Some of the most common conditions treated by shockwave therapy include:
- Spinal cord injury
- Plantar Fasciitis or heel pain
- Foot, ankle, hamstring, and knee pain
- Back pain
- Elbow pain
- Wrist, hand, and shoulder pain
- Neck pain
- TMJ or jaw pain
- Sports injuries
- Erectile dysfunction
- Cervical spondylosis
- Bone spurs
- Cellulite treatment
- Shin splints
- Scar tissue
Talk to a specialist about your condition and symptoms to see if it can be managed with shockwave therapy.
Key Benefits of Shockwave Therapy
Are you still unsure about trying out shockwave therapy? Here are some reasons why you should consider the treatment.
Improves Blood Flow
The auditory waves in shockwave therapy create tiny tears in tissues, helping your body create new blood vessels. The surge of blood vessels increases your blood flow and oxygenation to the treatment area, promoting fast pain relief.
Chronic inflammation causes you pain and reduces your body’s function. Since mast cells can help lessen your inflammation, shockwave therapy increases mast cell activity.
Increases Collagen Production
As a key component in the structure of your muscles, skin, and connective tissues, collagen is important for bone and joint health. Undergoing shockwave therapy helps your body increase collagen production. With a sufficient amount of collagen in your body, the repair of damaged soft tissues starts, promoting healing.
Breaks Down Calcium Build-up in Tissues
When you experience trauma in your tendon, it often leads to the calcium build-up. This soft tissue calcification can cause medical problems such as coronary artery disease.
Shockwave therapy can help break up existing soft tissue calcifications, restoring your body’s normal function and boosting the elasticity of the treated tissue.
Interrupts the Pain Mediator
Your body relays pain messages to the central nervous system through a neurotransmitter known as Substance P. It’s the reason you experience intense and persistent pain.
You can lower the concentration of Substance P and interrupt the pain messages through shockwave therapy, facilitating more pain relief.
Relaxes Trigger Points
Extreme muscle tension in your body’s pain trigger points like the neck, back, and more can impede blood flow to these areas. This increases pain as your muscles don’t get enough oxygen. Shockwave therapy helps release the tension in the trigger points, easing pain.
While you may need to see your physiotherapist 3-6 times for effective long-term pain reduction, shock wave therapy sessions only take about 20 minutes. You’ll also notice drastic pain reduction after the first treatment.
Safe and Effective
Unlike surgery, shockwave therapy doesn’t need cuts or incisions to offer pain relief. It penetrates your body’s skin with gel and the shockwave applicator. This reduces the risk of dangerous side effects. You’ll also experience a decrease in pain and improved function in your affected areas after treatment.
How Does Shockwave Therapy Work?
Shockwave therapy is becoming a common physiotherapy treatment due to its benefits. But before you visit your psychotherapist, here is how the therapy works.
Step 1: Initial Consultation and Diagnosis
Your physiotherapist will assess your condition to see the type of shockwave therapy you need. They’ll also check your medical history to confirm if you’re a suitable candidate for shockwave therapy. As a shockwave therapy tip, you should not have the treatment if:
- You have poor sensation or hypersensitivity in the target area
- You use blood-thinning medications
- You have open sores
- You suffer from heart conditions or seizures
- You’re pregnant
Step 2: Locating the Treatment Area
Whether you’re experiencing pain in your back, knee, or heel, your physiotherapist will locate the area before proceeding with treatment. They have to ensure the area doesn’t have any open sores as it may cause you harm.
Step 3: Gel Application
After locating the affected area, the physiotherapist applies a sufficient amount of gel on your skin. It helps facilitate the transfer of acoustic waves efficiently and smoothly.
Step 4: Shockwave Therapy Initiation
Your doctor slightly pushes the shockwave therapy device against the affected area and presses the start button. Once the applicator starts working, the electrical charge creates an energy wave that focuses on your treatment area.
The physiotherapist may use high or low-energy waves based on your condition. The shock waves create a force on your tissues, inducing healing. If high-energy waves are used, you may need local or regional anesthesia since the procedure can be painful.
Step 5: Recovery
Shockwave therapy requires little to no downtime so you can continue with your day-to-day activities. But you should avoid strenuous activities like running. Your physiotherapist will assign specific exercises such as stretching to keep you fit during recovery.
Get Quick Relief for Shockwave Therapy
Got chronic pain? Have you been looking online for “shockwave therapy near me”? Look no further than Oceanus!We offer quality shockwave therapy devices to help you get pain relief. Before you purchase our device, we answer questions like how does shockwave therapy work, the benefits of shockwave therapy, and more. Contact us today for more shockwave therapy advice.