Shockwave Therapy: Long-Term Healing with Acoustic Waves
Shockwave Therapy is a non-surgical treatment that uses high-energy acoustic waves to promote healing and help tendons and other soft tissues repair naturally.
As per studies, shockwave therapy appears to have the following benefits like reversing chronic inflammation, the formation of new blood vessels, stimulating collagen production, breaking up unwanted calcium build-up and reducing pain.
One of the biggest take-homes for shockwave therapy is that it activates the natural healing process of the body.
A thing or two about shockwave therapy
What conditions is the therapy used for?
Now that you already have an idea of what shockwave therapy is, let's get started with the common ailments that it is used to treat. Shockwave therapy is an excellent treatment option for patients who have sustained an injury due to overuse or repetitive strain.
Common conditions include:
- Plantar fasciitis
- Tennis elbow
- Bony heel spurs
- Shin splints
- Jumper's knee
- Hip pain
- Calcification and more…
Simply put, a shockwave therapist recommends the therapy to treat those stubborn injuries that have taken a toll on your regular activities.
Patients with painful soft tissue (muscles, tendons, and ligaments), joint, and bone disorders get benefitted from shockwave therapy. Those suffering from sports or overuse injuries, as well as those receiving physiotherapy for a variety of ailments, may benefit from the treatment.
How does the therapy work?
Shockwave therapy is applied to the skin directly over the afflicted area. Low-energy sound, or acoustic, waves are used instead of electrical waves in this type of pain management therapy.
The shape and behavior of these sound waves are 'radial.' They can pass through the skin very easily and then radiate as a shockwave throughout the damaged muscle, tendon or joint. Shockwave therapy is thus a focused sort of treatment, addressing only the damaged or injured areas.
Your shockwave therapist will utilize a hand-held gadget attached to a machine that converts compressed air into sound waves when you receive shockwave treatment. He/she will apply light pressure to the area that has to be treated and glide the device over it. Ultrasound gel is placed on the skin prior to the procedure to allow the transmission of shockwaves through the skin.
The sound waves increase blood flow in the area while also causing inflammation. The body will strive to spontaneously heal the inflammation in the days following treatment, which will drive cell repair and regeneration. Damaged or wounded tissues then begin to heal, resulting in a reduction in discomfort.
Shockwave therapy can also help break down thick, fibrous scar tissue that contributes to your pain. Scar tissue, unlike normal tissues, is not highly elastic, causing immobility in the surrounding tissues. The use of sound waves to break it down helps enhance movement and discomfort.
Before the therapy
Your shockwave therapist will assess your overall condition, medical history in order to see if you're suitable for the therapy or not. Based on the assessment, the shockwave therapist will move on to the next steps.
Shockwave therapy is a safe and effective treatment when administered by a trained shockwave therapist or a reputed shockwave therapy clinic. However, it is not recommended in certain conditions. Shockwave therapy is not suitable if:
- You have a nerve disorder or have or had bone cancer
- You have a blood clotting condition and/or are taking anticoagulant or blood thinner medicines.
- You're expecting a child.
- You have a skin infection that has to be treated.
- In the area that needs to be treated, you have metal pins or plates.
- In the last 12 weeks, you've had a steroid injection for the same problem.
- You've used non-steroidal anti-inflammatory pain relievers like ibuprofen in the recent two weeks.
During the therapy
Although shockwave therapy is a non-surgical, non-invasive treatment, you may experience some discomfort in the treatment area. The majority of people describe it as tiny pulses against their skin. If your pain is severe, your shockwave therapist can adjust the way the shockwave device is used.
All you need to do is, sit back and relax during the therapy. Active engagement is a vital component of most physiotherapy treatments, yet shockwave therapy takes no effort on your part. Shockwave therapists also provide you with detailed instructions on what to do and what not to do after a shockwave treatment.
After the therapy
You will be able to go home and resume your normal daily activities as soon as your treatment is over. For the first 48 hours after treatment, you should avoid high-impact activities like running, exercising, or playing outdoor sports.
If you're in pain, take paracetamol if you can, but don't take a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory pain reliever like ibuprofen because it will negate the treatment, rendering it useless. Redness and swelling in the treated area may occur in the days following the therapy. This may aggravate your pain, but it is a typical part of the healing process and will pass in a day or two.
The frequency of the therapy depends from patient to patient. Some conditions may require at least five treatments. It generally depends on your health condition, and your shockwave therapist is the right person to prescribe you the course of treatment.
If you're on the lookout for a trusted shockwave therapy centre with some of the experienced shockwave therapists on board, Revital Health's shockwave therapy is the one you should go for.
After the course of treatment, the shockwave therapists will make arrangements to see you again to examine your condition and check how you're doing!