Shockwave therapy, commonly referred to as Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy (EWST) is a new treatment modality designed specifically to treat chronic tendon injuries.
How does it work?
It is an intense, but very short energy wave traveling faster than the speed of sound. These sound waves are transmitted into the injured area of the body. This technology has been used for decades for millions of people for things like breaking up kidney stones. It was later modified for orthopedic uses.
Each treatment works to increase the metabolic activity around the site of pain or discomfort, stimulating the body’s healing process, thus reducing pain. The treatment involves the application of approximately 2000 sonic pulses to the injured area for a short period of time. These impulses reproduce an acute inflammatory reaction. This brings new blood supply to the area and gives the body a second chance at healing the injury. Permanent relief typically begins about 72 hours following treatment. Resolution of the injury is generally achieved in only 3 to 6 sessions, spaced one week apart.
Is it Effective?
Numerous studies show success rates of 75-95% even when all other methods failed. Since including Shockwave therapy in our practice, the results have been very favorable. What makes Shockwave therapy unique is that it is one of the very few technologies in medicine that seems to work best when an injury reaches the chronic, non-healing state. It appears to jump start the healing process and move the body back into the acute phase of healing. This is why it is also necessary to ensure proper rehabilitation exercises are prescribed to ensure the muscles are retrained to provide strength and stability to the injured area and promote proper healing and repair.
Are there any side effects?
The unwanted side effects of Shockwave therapy are quite minimal. Some patients report redness at the site of treatment and rarely bruising. These side effects disappear within a few days. It can also be uncomfortable during treatment, as we are attempting to break up scar tissue and promote regeneration of new tissue. We consider these side effects to be minimal when compared to other traditional approaches of anti-inflammatory medications or cortisone injections.
What Conditions does Shockwave Therapy treat?
- Plantar Fasciitis/heel pain or heel spurs
- Tennis elbow/Golfer’s elbow
- Achilles tendonitis
- Rotator cuff tendonitis
- Scar Tissue Treatment
- Frozen Shoulder
- Jumpers Knee
- Muscle strains/joint sprains
- Stress Fractures
- Non Healing Ulcers
- Trigger points
Should you have any further questions regarding this innovative new therapy, we’d welcome the opportunity to discuss them with you!