Shockwave therapy is a medical treatment that has been around for many years. It was originally used in the treatment of kidney stones. Since then, it has become more increasingly used in other medical fields including orthopedics, cardiovascular disease, chronic prostatitis, and erectile dysfunction.
How does shockwave therapy work?
During the therapy, intensity acoustic waves interact with the body tissues. These waves cause localized microtrauma that stimulates the body’s natural healing processes. This leads to a cascade stimulation of collagen production and dissolution of calcium build-up. The shock waves are believed to stimulate angiogenesis / neovascularization (new blood vessels) and neurogenesis (new nerve cells). As the injured area is returned to normal, functionality is restored, and pain is relieved.
Enhanced dispersion of substance-P a pain medicator and growth factor that also supports secretion of histamine. Reduction of substance P concentration reduces pain in the affected area and decreases the development of swelling and edema. This is very important for athletes as enhances early healing and mobility restoration.
ACCELERATION OF HEALING
Increase of collagen synthesis
Production of a sufficient amount of collagen is a necessary precondition for the repair process of the damaged musculoskeletal tissues.
Improved metabolism and microcirculation
Shockwave therapy accelerates the removal of nociceptive metabolites, histamine, lactic acid, and other irritating substances. It increases oxygenation and supplies damaged tissue with the required nutrients.
Dissolution of calcified fibroblasts
Shockwave therapy dissolves calcified fibroblasts and starts subsequent biochemical decalcification of primary calcara or secondary symptoms of arthrosis.
ANALGESIC EFFECT- ELIMINATION OF PAIN
Decrease of muscle tension, inhibition of spasms
Hyperemia is one of the basic effects of shockwave therapy in the body. It provides better energy supply to hypertonic muscles and their ligamentous structures. Furthermore, it causes lessening of pathological interactions between the actin and myosin fibers. This leads to significant reduction of muscle tension.
ENHANCED DISPERSION OF SUBSTANCE P
The activity of substance P, a pain mediator and growth factor leads to the stimulation of afferent nociceptive (pain) fibers. Substance P also supports the development of edema and the secretion of histamine. Reduction of substance P concentration at the treatment site by shockwave therapy reduces these undesired effects.
Orthopedic conditions commonly treated with shockwave therapy.
- Plantar fasciitis
- Tennis elbow (lateral epicondylitis)
- Jumper’s knee (patellar tendinitis
- Golfer’s elbow (medial epicondylitis)
- Achilles tendinitis
- Rotator cuff tendinitis
- Groin pain
- Carpal tunnel
- Stress fractures (bone healing)
- Morton’s Neuroma
How long is a typical shockwave therapy treatment?
The actual application of the shockwave therapy typically only lasts for around 5 minutes per treatment site.
Does shockwave therapy hurt?
There may be some discomfort at the initiation of therapy due to the inflammation already present at the site but after about a minute into the procedure, the pain reduces dramatically as substance-P gets dispersed from the treatment site. The intensity of the shockwaves can also be adjusted to minimize discomfort. Overall, it is a very tolerable and quick procedure.
What is the cost of Shockwave therapy?
Shockwave therapy is a relatively new and affordable treatment modality. It is however, not covered by many insurance plans.
The cost of shock wave therapy for musculoskeletal disorders is anywhere between $150-300 per session and depends on the extent of the treatment area. Patients typically require three to five sessions spaced at 5-10 days intervals for an effective treatment.
The Shockwave therapy T8plus
The T8plus shockwave device has both an acoustic wave and an ultrasound piece. They both cause mechanical vibrations in the tissues to stimulate increased blood flow and metabolism at the cellular level thereby speeding up the healing process.