What sounds like a more appealing treatment for your acute chronic pain—surgery, or no surgery? Most people would rather opt out of an intense surgical procedure for one that’s less painful and invasive.
That’s why medical practitioners are recommending shockwave therapy. As shockwave therapy gains popularity, more and more case studies are proving its effectiveness.
Are you considering shockwave therapy to treat your chronic pain? Below are some questions to ask your therapy specialist.
What is Shockwave Therapy?
Shockwave therapy is a non-surgical procedure. It’s used in physiotherapy, orthopedics, sports medicine, urology, and veterinary medicine. It is a way to manipulate soft tissue where pain or an injury exists—whether it be a tendon, ligament, muscles, bone. etc.—in order to stimulate a physiological response.
Shockwave therapy can provide immediate pain relief. It also restores mobility while triggering the injured area of the body to begin the healing process. It can help speed up the recovery time from an injury, as well as cure acute chronic pain.
How Does Shockwave Therapy Work?
Acoustic pressure shockwaves are directed through a handheld device and applied directly to an injured area on the body. Shock wave therapy works by causing microtrauma to the soft tissue within the injured area.
This microtrauma is what triggers the healing response by the body. As scar tissue and calcification break down, new healthier tissue is created. It is also believed that shockwave therapy helps increase metabolism, releases pain chemicals, boosts collagen production, and reduces inflammation.
What Injuries Work With Shockwave Therapy?
Shockwave therapy helps in many cases where chronic pain in joints and in the body occurs. Below is a list of common indications that shockwave therapy helps treat.
Jumper’s knee interferes with all daily activities and is a difficult injury to treat. It is caused by inflammation or injury to the patellar tendon and is quite painful. Those who use shockwave therapy for jumpers knee experience pain relief after their first session.
There are many reasons one might experience pain in their shoulder. Most commonly, pain in the shoulder comes from calcification with the rotator cuff. This causes tendons to inflame and can lead to dull to severe pain in the shoulder, as well as limited mobility.
Studies have shown that in more than 85% of cases calcification in painful shoulder patients disappears after shockwave therapy. After 4 weeks of treatment, patients see a reduction in pain and an increase in mobility.
Tennis elbow, or epicondylitis, affects up to 10% of people. Conventional treatment for tennis elbow includes pain killers and steroid injections. Offering fast pain relief, shockwave therapy cure efficiency is over 70% with only 5 treatments or less.
Heel spurs greatly limit the daily activities of those affected. They’re calcium deposits on the underside of the heel bone and are commonly associated with plantar fasciitis.
When prolonged activity places strain on a tendon, pain in the insertion of the muscle can occur. Neovascularization is encouraged through the use of shockwave therapy. This process sends more blood flow to the injured areas speeding up healing.
Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome
Activities—including fast walking, running, or sports activities involving kicking—put stress on the medial tibial. Shockwave therapy helps speed up the recovery time from medial tibial stress syndrome.
Cartilage in our joints is known to wear down—especially with age. When this happens, muscles and tendons in the hip become damaged from overuse. By using shockwave therapy for hip pain, inflammation is reduced and pain and tenderness treated.
Does it Hurt?
Patients who have undergone shockwave therapy treatment have reported mild discomfort—albeit tolerable. Patients may also experience mild pain days or weeks after their session. This is due to the body going through a healing process and the rebuilding of new healthy tissue.
What’s the Difference Between Radial and Focused Shockwave Therapy?
There are two different types of Shockwave therapy used in clinical treatment—focused and radial. Their differences lie in terms of how the shockwave is created, the properties of the shockwave, and the effects of the shockwave on the cells and tissues within the body.
With Focused Shockwave Therapy, a wave is produced from an electromagnetic source. This type of therapy is effective when attempting to treat injuries that are deep within the tissue.
Because this type of shockwave therapy requires the use of high-energy, the injured area must be accurately identified. Focused shockwave therapy is reported by patients to be more painful the radial shockwave therapy.
Radial Shockwave Therapy, on the other hand, uses compressed air to accelerate a projectile in a guiding tube. The penetration depth of a radial shockwave is much less than a focused shockwave and is used on larger areas of the body. Radial shockwave therapy is more commonly used in clinical treatments than focused shockwave therapy.
How Many Treatments Are Necessary?
Like any type of therapy, the number of treatment sessions depends on the injury itself, when it happened, and where it’s located on the body. Typically, shockwave therapy requires 4 to 6 sessions with 5 to 10 days in between each visit.
Are There Any Side Effects?
The most common side effects associated with Shockwave therapy are bruising, swelling, and redness around the area treated. Localized numbness and slight discomfort on and around the treated area is also reported by those who’ve undergone shockwave therapy. Typically these side effects diminish within hours or days after treatment.
Not only can you receive shockwave therapy from a medical practitioner, but you can also administer pain relief therapy in the comfort of your own home. The PhysioLITE II is an ultrasound device that is clinically proven to relieve pain within the body.
Just to be safe, always talk with your family doctor before trying any treatments on yourself. Interested in finding out more about our products?—give us a call today!