Shockwave therapy is a noninvasive, painless medical treatment that is used to relieve the symptoms of a broad range of diseases and injuries. Its rapid effectiveness and low risk make it a popular option for physicians treating chronic conditions, including arthritis, tendinitis, plantar fasciitis, carpal tunnel syndrome, lower back pain, Plantar Fasciosis (heel spur), and more. Shockwave therapy is a type of ultrasound that creates small pulsating blasts of energy in tissue to stimulate healing. In the case of shockwave therapy for chronic injuries and other conditions such as tendonitis or plantar fasciosis (heel spur), it works by stimulating bone or ligament fibroblasts to promote new healing growth.
What Conditions is Shockwave Therapy Effective for?
Shockwave therapy is most commonly used for injuries and soft tissue conditions that cause pain, swelling, or limited range of motion. These conditions are typically characterized by the inflammation of a soft tissue, which is often the result of trauma. Shockwave therapy is also used to treat chronic pain and reduce risk of surgery while improving patient recovery by increasing blood flow, promoting bone healing, and encouraging collagen production. Some examples of conditions shockwave therapy is effective for include: – Tendinitis – Painful inflammation of tendons. – Plantar fasciosis – Pain and inflammation of the bottom of the heel. – Achilles tendonitis – Pain and inflammation in the tendon at the back of the ankle. – Compartment syndrome – Tissue swelling with restricted blood flow. – Post-surgical pain – A method to treat chronic pain without the risk of surgery.
How Does Shockwave Therapy Work?
Ultrasound waves are generated inside a device and focused using a transducer to create a focused, high-frequency sound wave. This sound wave is then directed into the targeted tissue, creating a shockwave that causes the cells in the targeted area to vibrate. Since cells are water-based, the shockwave causes the cells to rupture and release enzymes that encourage rapid cell growth.
Advantages of Shockwave Therapy
– Rapid pain relief – Within minutes of treatment, patients experience reduced pain and inflammation. – Ideal for long-term chronic pain – Unlike opioids, shockwave therapy is not habit-forming, enabling patients to resume normal activity. – No side effects – Shockwave therapy has few to no side effects, making it safe and suitable for patients with preexisting conditions such as diabetes or a history of addiction. – Low risk – Unlike surgery or cryo-therapy, shockwave therapy does not require anesthesia and is not associated with any serious risks.
Disadvantages of Shockwave Therapy
– Expensive – Shockwave therapy is not covered by medical plans, and treatment is only recommended for a few conditions. – May cause skin redness – Treatment causes some skin irritation, but it is typically mild and goes away on its own. – May be ineffective in certain cases – Shockwave therapy works best for acute injuries and conditions that cause pain and inflammation; it may be less effective for long-term conditions or injuries that are non-inflammatory.
shockwave therapy vs. ultrasound
Ultrasound and shockwave therapy are not the same thing, but they are often used together. Ultrasound can be used as an alternative to shockwave therapy, but it cannot stimulate collagen production as effectively. Additionally, ultrasound is not effective for treating chronic conditions that cause pain.
Shockwave therapy is an effective treatment option for patients with injuries or chronic conditions that cause pain. It’s a noninvasive treatment that uses ultrasound to break down tissue and stimulate cells to promote healing. Shockwave treatment is typically well-tolerated and has few to no side effects, but it is expensive and may be less effective in certain cases compared to other treatments. Shockwave therapy is a safe treatment option with few disadvantages.