Shockwave Therapy, also known as Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy (ESWT) or extracorporeal pulse activation technology, is a non-invasive treatment method that stimulates the body's natural healing processes. This regenerative therapy is utilized to alleviate pain and facilitate the healing of injured tendons, ligaments, and various other soft tissues. By employing acoustic shockwaves, it replicates the forces encountered during trauma, fostering the regrowth and healing of tissues. This process involves inducing various mechanical and chemical changes, promoting a comprehensive healing response.
This includes various mechanical and chemical changes including:
- Increase of cell wall permeability
- Increase in microcirculation and neovascularization
- Release of substance P neurotransmitter (helps pain modulation)
- Strong vasodilation effects
- Enhanced collagen synthesis
- Release of nitric oxide (assists cell metabolism and circulation)
- Stimulation of growth factors
- Breaking up soft tissue calcifications
How long does Shockwave Therapy take?
A single treatment usually takes about 15 minutes. Depending on the injury, a patient may receive three to five treatments over a period of several weeks. Very often patients will add in shockwave therapy to their current physical therapy plan of care to help create lasting changes in the target tissues.
Shockwave Therapy for Chronic Pain
- Achilles Tendinopathy
- Frozen Shoulder
- Rotator Cuff Injuries
- Severe Muscle Strains
- Tennis Elbow or Golfer’s Elbow
- Calcific Tendonitis
- Heel Spurs
- Jumper’s knee
- Plantar Fasciitis
- Retrocalcaneal bursitis
What should I expect for treatment and recovery?
- In contrast to other treatments that may take weeks to yield results, shockwave therapy offers rapid relief from pain without resorting to steroids. Some patients report feeling the benefits as soon as the following day, with the added advantage of no risk of irritation, swelling, or bruising commonly associated with alternative therapies. Many individuals, particularly those dealing with tendon issues, note enhanced functionality and an improved quality of life following the procedure.
- Sensations experienced during ESWT vary among individuals, generally described as mildly uncomfortable rather than painful. Sensitivity can depend on the treatment area, with body parts having less skin and muscle, such as over the hip bone, potentially being more sensitive than thicker areas like the calves.
- During an ESWT session, it's advisable to wear clothing that allows access to the treatment area. The process involves positioning the patient for comfort, applying a water-based gel to the skin, and using a handheld applicator to release pressure waves over the targeted area. The intensity is tailored to each patient's pain tolerance, starting at a low level and gradually increasing to a therapeutic range. Typically, the treatment involves about 2,000 pulses held steady at the therapeutic level.
- Immediate results are common, often requiring only two or three treatments over 4-6 weeks to support healing. ESWT's effectiveness is apparent early on, especially when combined with a comprehensive physical therapy plan. If immediate results are not observed, further exploration of potential causes and alternative treatment modalities can be considered.
- Post-treatment, some soreness and bruising may occur, but normal activities, including exercise, can be resumed without downtime. Active individuals experiencing pain may find notable improvements in healing, increased blood flow, and decreased pain through this therapy.
Shockwave Therapy in Fort Worth, Texas
Ried Physical Therapy offers a range of cutting-edge modalities and treatments, including Shockwave Therapy, for addressing sports injuries and various painful conditions. To learn more about this service and how it integrates into a comprehensive physical therapy plan, feel free to contact us. Our experienced Physical Therapist are available to discuss your case and provide valuable insights over the phone. Give us a call today!