Shock wave therapy Treatment Possibilities and Opportunities

Shock wave Therapy

Shock wave Therapy is used to treat a growing number of tendon, joint and muscle conditions.

Shockwave is an acoustic wave which carries high energy to painful spots and myoskeletal tissues with subacute, subchronic and chronic conditions. The energy promotes regeneration and reparative processes of the bones, tendons and other soft tissues.

Basically doctor will locate the area of pain through palpation. This area will then be marked and some ultrasound gel applied. The shock wave impulses are delivered using a hand-piece. It takes about five minutes to deliver a single treatment. This is generally said to be uncomfortable (rather than painful) and is well tolerated by the vast majority of patients. This process is repeated a total of three times — with a week between treatments. Some patients note an immediate improvement in their pain, however the best results occur 12 weeks after the initial treatment.

Shock wave Mechanism
Shockwaves are characterized by jump change in pressure, high amplitude and non-periodicity. 
The kinetic energy of the projectile, created by compressed air, is transferred to the transmitter at the end of the applicator and further into the tissue.

Acoustic waves with high energy peak used in Shock wave therapy interact with tissue causing overall medical effects of accelerated tissue repair and cell growth, analgesia and mobility restoration. All the processes mentioned in this section are typically employed simultaneously and are used to treat chronic, sub-acute and acute (advanced users only) conditions.

How does it work?
In an Shock wave Therapy session, shock waves are applied on the patient’s damaged area at a low frequency (roughly 1 pulse per second).
These waves then focus a small amount of energy (less than 0.2 mJ/mm2) on the damaged area, without the need for using local anaesthetics.

This technique could also help injured athletes to return to training and be able to compete more quickly than just with traditional methods, the researchers concluded.

Shock wave Therapy initially reduces pain through what is known as ‘hyperstimulation anesthesia’. The nerves sending pain signals to the brain are stimulated to such an extent that their activity diminishes, thereby decreasing or eliminating pain.

Shock wave Therapy also produce a regenerative or tissue-repairing effect in musculoskeletal tissues. They appear to stimulate the release of growth factors and an improvement in blood supply leading to repair of tendon and bone. These are the mechanisms by which a long-term improvement in symptoms occurs.

What conditions does it work for?

As far as Kidney stones are concerned shock wave from outside the body are targeted at a kidney stone causing the stone to fragment. The stones are broken into tiny pieces.

Shock wave Therapy has been used in sports medicine clinics worldwide for a number of years. It is not a new treatment. There is scientific evidence to show that:

It is as effective as 3 months of eccentric strengthening for Achilles tendinopathy

It is an effective treatment for proximal hamstring tendinopathy in professional athletes

It is superior to eccentric strengthening and more ‘traditional’ rehabilitation techniques for insertional achilles tendinopathy

It is an effective treatment for plantar fascia dysfunction (fasciitis) and has been FDA approved for this condition

It is effective for treating trochanteric pain

Can be used to treat tennis and golfers elbow (tendinopathy affecting the common extensor and flexor tendons at the elbow)

If you would like to learn more about this treatment please feel free to arrange an appointment with one of our physicians.