Over 50 million Americans (about 20% of the population) suffer from some type of chronic pain. While it’s often considered a symptom of other conditions, chronic pain can have a massive impact on your quality of life by itself. The primary treatments, a variety of narcotic drug therapies, can cause as many problems as they treat. Thankfully, a modern non-invasive therapy called shock wave treatment can provide relief without the danger of dependency or addiction. What is shockwave treatment? Why is it helpful, and is it right for you? Read on for the information you need to make your decision.
What Is Shockwave Treatment?
“Shockwave” or “shock wave” therapy uses a small device to project ultrasound waves into the body. Devices can use either high- or low-energy pulses, but high-energy pulses are quite painful and are only used under sedation in the hospital.
Ultrasound waves work by causing small amounts of damage to the body at the microscopic level. While this sounds harmful, in reality, it promotes healing and blood flow to the area.
Treatment involves setting the device to the right frequency and duration and applying ultrasound gel to the affected area. Then, your doctor or therapist will hold the metal wand attachment against your skin, moving it gently around the area. An entire session often takes only 15-20 minutes.
Shock wave therapy education extends to medical professionals in a variety of fields. Urologists, orthopedists, and even physiotherapists use this method to treat a wide range of acute and chronic conditions.
Benefits of Shock Wave Therapy
The first recognized benefit of this therapy appeared in the field of urology. Kidney stone and gallstone shock wave treatments are used in a hospital setting to break up large calculi and make them easier to pass or remove.
After realizing that this treatment locally increases bone density, doctors started using it to promote bone healing after complicated fractures and surgeries.
Today, ultrasound shock wave treatment is a common feature in physical therapy offices. It’s effective at treating chronic pain quite literally from head to toe, sometimes serving as an alternative to surgery.
The benefits begin at the neck, where therapists use it to release myofascial trigger points. Shock wave foot treatment is also helpful for patients experiencing plantar fasciitis and heel spurs.
Other conditions this therapy can treat include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Shoulder tendinitis
- Muscular injuries
- Shin splints
- Arthritis pain
- Various tendinopathies
- Trigger finger
- Dupuytren’s disease
If you suffer from chronic joint or muscle pain of any sort, there’s a good chance that shock wave therapy could help.
Ask Your Doctor About Medical Shock Wave Treatment
After finding out the answer to questions like “What is shockwave treatment, and how can it help?” you may wonder if it’s the right choice for your condition. Like any other medical procedure, it’s best to seek your doctor’s advice before starting.
Once you get the all-clear from your physician, you can seek out a clinic that offers shock wave therapy or purchase a device for personal use. For a full range of in-home ultrasound shock wave devices, take a look at our store.