What is acoustic wave therapy?

Also Known as Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy

What is Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy?

Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy is a series of high-energy pulses to the affected area. This treatment has been used for many years in European countries to treat many musculoskeletal conditions.

When used correctly, these high energy percussions stimulates an inflammatory response in the body. This inflammatory response increases blood supply to an area and increases metabolic activity in the treated area. This stimulates and speeds up healing and remodeling of chronic dysfunctional collagenous tissues, tendonitis/tendonopathies, muscle strains, and trigger points. It also is very effective in breaking up scar tissue and calcification within a muscle or tendon. There is also an immediate effect on pain. Shockwave therapy can also diminish the transmission of pain by inhibiting mechanoreceptors.

What Does This Mean For You?

This means that you can be rid of many of the chronic conditions that have been slowing you down. Whether you are an elite athlete or a weekend warrior this treatment can dramatically speed up your recovery time and can greatly enhance your rehab in physical therapy.

It Has Been Shown in Studies That This Treatment is Very Effective in the Treatment of:

How Long is a Typical Treatment and How Many Treatments are Necessary?

Depending on the specific problem most areas require around 2000 “shocks” for the desired outcome. Some areas may require more depending on how chronic the condition is. You will probably be in and out of the office within 20-30 mins. Most conditions require about 6 visits with 5-7 days between each treatment.

Does This Treatment Actually Work?

There have been multiple studies published on Shockwave therapy that have shown the benefits of Extra Corporeal Shockwave Therapy. A successful outcome of this treatment would be at least above 75% reduction in pain and a return to function within 3-4 months. It can take up to 3-4 months for results to be seen even after treatment has concluded. If after 4 months your condition has not been resolved consult your doctor for other treatment options.

Are There Any Side Effects of This Treatment?

The short answer is YES. This treatment produces an inflammatory response which can cause some residual pain after the treatment.

  • Some specific side effects can include bruising, swelling, petechiae. The side effects will typically subside within 7-10 days.
  • The inflammatory response is the desired outcome of this treatment and it is recommended that you discontinue any anti-inflammatory medications.
  • The treatment itself is tolerated well by most people but can be uncomfortable to some. The pressure of the shockwaves can be turned down to a tolerable level for those experiencing pain during treatment.

Exclusions to Shockwave Therapy May Include:

  • Coagulation disorders (Hemophilia)
  • Use of anticoagulants
  • Cancer/Tumor Diseases
  • Pregnancy
  • Use of Cortisone 6 weeks prior to Shockwave Treatment