Shockwave Therapy

Shockwave therapy treats soft tissue conditions. A shockwave machine uses kinetic energy to stimulate the area of inflamed or diseased tissue to promote blood supply and stimulate healing. In short, this tricks the body into thinking what may be a chronic condition is actually an acute injury, and lets the body heal itself (1). At our clinic, shockwave therapy is used by our chiropractor in addition with exercise and manual therapy (2). 

WHAT CAN IT TREAT?

Shockwave therapy was used to break down kidney stones back in the day, until entrepreneurial doctors realized it can be used for multiple different treatments (3). Therefore, shockwave therapy can help multiple different diagnoses. 

This non-invasive therapy is customizable to help the following ailments (4): 

  • heel spur
  • Plantar fasciitis
  • Achilles tendonitis
  • Patella tendonitis
  • Trochanteric bursitis 
  • Lower back pain
  • Tennis elbow
  • hand/shoulder tendonitis
  • Scar tissue
  • Calcification
  • Neck pain
  • Non healing wounds
  • Non healing fractures
  • Diabetic ulcers
  • Surgery sites
  • Shin splints
  • Ball foot pain

Shoulder pain is a common complaint we see from a lot of patients. Moreover, a significant percentage of patients with chronic shoulder pain form calcium deposits. Calcifications begin to form in patients who overuse their shoulders as a result. This includes individuals who commit themselves to manual labour, athletes in sports such as tennis, racquetball, football, etc. Therefore, patients who have calcium deposits in their shoulders benefit most from this therapy for this particular diagnosis. The shockwave therapy can decrease pain, and improve function, and ultimately dissolve calcifications (5). 

Clinical trials have a proven 86% success rate for each of these diagnoses (4).

HOW DOES IT WORK?

Shockwave therapy provides a pneumatic flow of high pressure and low pressure. The therapist holds the machine against the skin with the use of a conductive jell, a tiny projectile produces an acoustic wave that stimulates healing cells to help damaged tissue (6). Shockwave therapy doesn’t actually create an acute injury, but rather causes your tissue to respond as if there is an acute injury. That mechanical energy then translates into chemical signals that our body responds to and causes a healing response (3).

Shockwave therapy can be considered as regenerative medicine, because it allows your body to heal itself (3). The therapy sends a high energy sound wave to the area of pain to increase blood flow and metabolic activity to then help with tissue regeneration (7). Shockwaves are then repeatedly applied to the injured area to break down any scar tissue and all calcifications in the area, where in which some cases the body is unable to repair itself. As the tissue is broken down by the shockwave, the body then begins to start rebuilding new tissue replicating the body’s own self healing process (4).

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE?

A course of shockwave therapy usually involves 3-6 sessions. Each session taking about 15 minutes. Treatment sessions can be spaced 5-7 days apart. This may differ depending on the patient’s progress. Following the treatment, in most cases, pain levels begin to reduce. Symptoms should reduce after 2-3 months following the last session. Therefore, shockwave therapy offers advantages over traditional surgical methods. This includes (4): 

  • No anaesthesia
  • Non-invasive
  • No medication
  • No surgery
  • Fast treatment
  • Fewer complications
  • Virtually painless after treatment
CONCLUSION

Shockwave therapy is a non-invasive regenerative treatment that can help a variety of diagnoses. Therefore, patients can avoid surgery and reduce the use of pain medication by visiting our clinic. Shockwave therapy is above all quick and virtually painless. The majority of our patients report pain reduction after the first treatment, and pain relief once treatment is complete.

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