What is Shockwave Therapy?
Shockwave therapy is a non-invasive treatment that is used in orthopedics, physiotherapy, sports medicine, veterinary medicine, and urology.(1)
Being a non-surgical therapy with no need for pain killers, Shockwave therapy is an ideal therapy to speed up the cure and to cure acute and chronic pain.
In Shockwave therapy, a series of low energy acoustic wave pulsations are directly applied to the place of injury on the skin of a person. The technology evolved from a discovery that focused that sound waves were capable of breaking down kidney and gallstones.
How Does Shockwave Therapy Work?
Shockwave therapy is becoming more popular in physiotherapies. It uses much lower energy than medical applications and is able to treat various musculoskeletal conditions involving connective tissues such as tendons and ligaments.
Shockwave is an acoustic wave that when used as a treatment carries high energy to painful spots and myoskeletal tissues that have subacute, subchronic, and chronic conditions.
The energy promotes a regenerative and reparative process of bones, tendons, and other soft tissues
Shockwave therapy is an effective tool for stubborn, chronic tendinopathies that have not responded to other treatments that include:(2)
- Tennis elbow
- Jumper knee
- Calcific tendinitis of the shoulder
- Plantar fasciitis
During the first meeting, a person is assessed to confirm him as an ideal candidate for shockwave therapy. He is then educated about the condition and the treatment of Shockwave therapy. Also, the patient is told about activity modification, specific exercises, and about any other contributing issues such as posture, tightness, and weakness of muscle groups, that can be taken care of during the treatment.
The shockwave therapy is given once in a week for 3-4 weeks. There can be mild discomfort because of the treatment but Shockwave therapy lasts for only 4-5 minutes. The intensity of the Shockwave therapy can be adjusted to keep it comfortable.
After the Shockwave therapy, the person might experience temporary soreness, tenderness, and swelling for a few days. This is due to an inflammatory response stimulated by shockwave therapy. This is the body’s natural way of healing and one should not take any anti-inflammatory as it may slow down the result.
Depending on the complication for which the treatment is done, the person can return back to their activities immediately.
Shockwave therapy has been found to effectively treat:
- Heel spurs, plantar fasciitis and Achilles tendonitis
- Shin splints
- Iliotibial band friction
- Patellar tendonitis
- Tennis and golfers elbow
- Pain in lumbar and cervical spinal regions and chronic back pains
Benefits Of Shockwave Therapy Treatment
- Shockwave therapy is an excellent and cost-effective treatment
- No anesthesia and rugs are required
- It has fewer side effects
- It is a non-invasive procedure and a solution for pains that have lost hope with the medication and other treatments
Side Effects Of Shockwave Therapy
There are certain conditions, if a person is suffering from, shockwave therapy should not be used, as it might lead to side effects.
The conditions are as follows:
- Nerve disorder
- Bone tumor
- Metabolic conditions
- Open wounds
Also, those taking blood-thinning medication or suffering from severe circulatory disorder should not be given this treatment.