The term “shockwave therapy” can sound highly intimidating. It can conjure images of pain and torture, but fortunately, there is no need to worry! Shockwave therapy is a gentle and effective treatment method that can help reduce your pain and promote healing.
Keep reading to learn more about shockwave therapy and how it can benefit you!
What is Shockwave Therapy?
Shockwave therapy is a non-invasive treatment method that uses soundwave pulses. While the name may cause you to assume electrical impulses are at work, this therapy actually uses a very mild frequency of acoustic waves. These soundwaves penetrate through the skin at the site of an injury, which triggers your body to amp up its healing abilities. Very little (if any) pain is involved in the process.
Shockwave therapy was initially developed based on the same technology used to penetrate deep within the body to break down kidney and gallstones. The waves used in shockwave therapy are much lower in frequency, but their results have been just as amazing! Many people who undergo this therapy begin seeing results after just a few sessions.
View this post on Instagram
How Does Shockwave Therapy Work?
Also known as extracorporeal shock wave therapy (ESWT), this modality is becoming increasingly common in physiotherapy and foot clinics. Studies have shown that it is highly beneficial in helping many different conditions and injuries that deal specifically with tendons and ligaments. Shockwave therapy is best-suited for people with chronic, long-lasting conditions that don’t seem to respond to other treatment methods.
Shockwave therapy sends soundwave pulses through the skin to the injured area. It causes microtrauma to the tissue and prompts your body to speed up the healing process. This causes the body to send more blood and nutrients to the area which allows your body to heal itself naturally.
What to Expect During a Shockwave Session
Your chiropodist will take some time to assess your situation and determine if shockwave therapy is right for you. A gel-like substance will be applied to the affected area, and a small wand (similar to an ultrasound device) will be used to transmit the soundwaves to the affected area.
You will feel a slight pulsing sensation as the soundwaves are applied. Some people may experience very mild discomfort. If this occurs, inform your therapist and have them adjust the intensity of the shockwave machine. Each session will last approximately five to ten minutes, and most people require one weekly treatment for four to eight weeks.
Afterward, you will feel fine to go about your normal daily activities. You shouldn’t have any lingering discomfort.
After your treatment, you should avoid taking anti-inflammatories or applying ice or heat to the area. Doing so will inhibit the body’s healing response and may slow down your recovery time.
What Conditions can Shockwave Therapy Help?
Shockwave therapy is an excellent treatment method for any type of pain or injury affecting the connective tissue in the body, like tendons, ligaments or muscle tissue. Shockwave therapy can help if you suffer from any of the following conditions:
- Plantar Fasciitis
- Heel Spurs
- Achilles Tendonitis
- Shin Splints
- Patellar Tendonitis
- Tennis Elbow
- Rotator Cuff Issues
- Hip Bursitis
What are the Benefits of Shockwave Therapy?
If you are suffering from an injury that involves your tendons or ligaments, there are many benefits that shockwave therapy can provide:
- It is non-invasive and causes minimal discomfort, both during the procedure and throughout the healing process.
- Has very few side effects and a fast recovery time.
- Can help relieve your pain after just one session.
- Requires a short duration of therapy. Most people only need one shockwave therapy session per week for an average of four to six weeks.
- Is relatively inexpensive when compared to other treatment methods.
- Has an excellent recovery rate, especially in those who suffer from chronic pain and have not found relief from other methods.
- Doesn’t require any sedation or medication.
Does Shockwave Therapy have any Side Effects?
This treatment method has few side effects; however, anyone suffering from circulatory problems or nerve or bone disorders should speak to their healthcare practitioner before accepting treatment. It should also be avoided by pregnant women.
Are you Considering Shockwave Therapy?
Shockwave therapy is an excellent option for anyone suffering from foot pain, plantar fasciitis, heel spurs, or other conditions affecting your connective tissues. It can provide many benefits, most notably its ability to help your body heal and significantly reduce your pain and discomfort.