Shockwave therapy is a recent non-invasive treatment which consists of a series of acoustic wave pulsations that are applied to a body part via a gel medium. At the beginning this technology was applied mainly to treat kidney and gallstones problems. Later on it has been used to treat different chronic conditions like lingering injury, general muscle pain and erectile disfunction. The purpose of the therapy is to activate the body natural healing response without using any painkillers. Many people have reported good improvements just after the first treatment.
Shockwave is becoming popular also in physiotherapy to treat musculoskeletal conditions involving connective tissue damages on ligaments and tendons. Some tendon conditions might not well respond to traditional form of treatment thus shockwave therapy can be a solution for people who suffer from rotator cuff, jumpers knee calcific tendinitis or tennis elbow.
How does it work?
Once the therapist has found from where the pain originates some gel is applied to the area and the Shockwave device is used. A handpiece with a shape of a wand- like device controlled by a compressor is applied to the affected area.
The item after transmits energy to the machine to generate radial shockwaves which are then absorbed by the body.
The principle of this therapy is to cause a microtrauma to the affected tissue which initiates a healing reaction by the body. This process causes a formation of blood vessels and a healing response reliving the symptoms of the pain.
How long does it take to get benefits?
It depends on the type of injury you might feel better after few treatments. Because everyone have different responds to the treatment it is not easy to predict how long it will take to get results. It can take 6 to 10 weeks after your treatment to obtain full benefits from the therapy.
Are there any side effects?
There are not any serious side effects reported apart from some pain, swelling or numbness in the treated area. People with circulation or nerve disorder, tumors or blood-thinning medication might be not eligible for the treatment.
One of the good aspects about shockwave treatment is that is not invasive especially with issues that can be challenging to treat.
It can relief from acute pain, no anesthesia is required, has a excellent cost/effectiveness ratio.
Shock wave therapy has been also utilized recently to treat men Erectile disfunction. It can increase blood flood in the penis and it also can repair and strength and improve blood flood. A healthcare provider put the device in different parts of the penis for about 20 minutes without anesthesia.
The pulses generated by the trigger can improve the blood flood and tissue leading to erections sufficient for sex. There isn’t a specific frequency however is suggested to repeat it every 6 months to get better results.
Some studies have also found that the most common treatment can be made of twice weekly for 3 weeks, next 3 weeks without treatment and another 3 weeks of twice weekly treatment and it can last approximately for a year.
Jumper’s knee is an inflammation or injury of the patellar tendon felt as pain, and functional deficit. This condition may create issue even end a person sporting career regardless the age and is difficult to treat. Shockwave therapy offers simple and immediate solution. Patient feels relief right after the first session and in several treatments the cause and the pain vanish.
Tennis elbow is a frequent condition occurring in up to 10% of the general population. Unfortunately the typical treatment of epicondylitis is lengthy (rest), includes medication (pain killers, steroid injections) and often needs repetition. Shockwave therapy can offer a rather prompt pain relief and cure with efficiency of over 70% in just few treatments.
Pain of the shoulder can be caused by many factors like calcifications, or frozen shoulder. Symptoms can manifest from dull to severe pain and limit the patients in their activities. In calcific tendonitis of the shoulder treated by the Shockwave the calcification disappears completely in more than 85% of the cases. Significant results and improvement in shoulder function is noticed after 4 weeks. Shockwave therapy can be a valid alternative to surgery or injections.
Tendinitis can result after cumulating microtraumas from repetitive overloading. Both active persons and the general population can be affected by tendinosis. Shockwave therapy can treat damage of the tendon typically with 3-5 with 5-10 days in-between sessions.
Calcifying tendinitis is a painful disorder which involves calcification of rotator cuff tendons causing pain and motion limitations. Shockwave therapy cause disruption of the calcified parts and support their resorption and elimination with fast relief in chronic stages.
With age and use, the cartilage can wear down or become damaged. Both muscles and tendons in the hip can become weaker and lead to pain. Shockwave therapy can accelerate the healing process, fight inflammation, eliminates pain and prevent hip replacement surgery. Shockwave therapy can also improve osteonecrosis of the femoral head in 79% of the cases.
Who is not suitable for Shockwave therapy?
Shockwave therapy is usually safe however, there might be some circumstances where it isn’t advised as it follows:
- You have a blood cloth disorder or you are taking anticoagulant medications.
- You are pregnant
- You have a nerve disorder
- You have taken a non steroidal pain killer for any reason in the last two weeks.
- You have received a steroid injection in the same area in the last 12 weeks.
The bottom Line
Shockwave therapy can be a valid alternative solution for people that suffer from different problems related to tendinitis and muscle tissues.
It doesn’t require any anesthetic drug and its application is very simple.
Effective results have been reported in many cases just after few sessions. It can relief from acute pain and it is not invasive. If you have any of the issue listed above it should be recommended to book for few sessions. If you have enjoyed this article please put a comment and share your experience if you wish so. Thank you and see you soon!