What is Shockwave?

Have you ever had trouble getting milk out of the fridge or pouring a cup of coffee because of stabbing elbow pain?  Have you dreaded that first step in the morning because your heels were so painful? Or does reaching up to the top shelf or blow drying your hair cause you grief?  

These are the types of chronic situations shockwave can help.

Shockwave therapy is a non-invasive treatment that involves the use of an applicator wand to deliver high-intensity sound waves through your skin to the damaged and painful tissues.

The concept and technology originally evolved from the discovery that focused sound waves are capable of breaking down kidney and gallstones. The shockwave that we use is similar technology to that used in a process call lithotripsy which breaks up kidney stones.

Over the past several years impressive scientific work has been done that support shockwave as a safe, effective and evidence-informed choice for many chronic soft tissue injuries.

Areas with thick dense connective tissue or areas where tendons attach to bones are often resistant to other treatments and tend to become not only chronic but very painful and intrusive in your life.  Some of the common conditions that we have had success with are:

• Plantar foot pain (heel pain)

• Achilles tendon pain

• Jumpers knee

• Lateral hip pain (greater trochanteric pain syndrome)

• Wrist pain

• Elbow pain (golfers/tennis elbow)

• Shoulder pain (frozen shoulder, calcific tendonitis, rotator cuff pain)

How does shockwave therapy work?

Shockwave therapy offers us another tool for stubborn, chronic soft tissue pain.  Some tendon conditions don't seem to respond to traditional forms of treatment and having the option of shockwave therapy treatment allows us another tool in our tool belt.

Shockwave therapy is most suited for people who have chronic (i.e. greater than six weeks) tendon or soft tissue pain (commonly referred to as tendinosis) which hasn’t responded to other treatment.  

Many of the other treatments commonly used to address these issues work best in the acute phase shortly after the condition develops.  Uniquely shockwave works best after the condition has become chronic.

The nature of the energy produced by the shockwave can disrupt calcium deposits in soft tissue; it produces a small amount of microtrauma which in effect “kick-starts” the healing process, and most importantly stimulates the growth of new blood vessels in the area which intern support and accelerates the healing process.

Some of the benefits of shockwave therapy treatment:

• Shockwave therapy has excellent outcomes

• Non-invasive solution for chronic pain in your shoulder, back, heel, knee or elbow

• No anesthesia required, no drugs

• Limited side effects

• Main fields of application: orthopedics, rehabilitation, and sport medicine

• New research shows that it can have a positive effect on acute pain

After the treatment, you may experience temporary soreness, tenderness or bruising for a few days following the procedure, as the shockwaves stimulate an inflammatory response. But this is the body healing itself naturally, in our experience most people have little to no discomfort in the days following treatment.

Upon completion of your treatment, you can return to most regular activities almost immediately.  You don’t need to take any special precautions following treatment, and there is no recovery time needed.

Are there any side effects?

Shockwave therapy should not be used if there is a circulation or nerve disorder, infection, bone tumor, or a metabolic bone condition. Shockwave therapy should also not be used if there are any open wounds or tumors or during pregnancy. People using blood-thinning medications or who have severe circulatory disorders may also not be eligible for treatment.

If you or anyone you know are suffering from a chronic soft tissue condition, we would be happy to explore if shockwave might be a solution.



Sun Chiropractic

Sun Chiropractic

Staff Writer

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