What is Shockwave Therapy?
Shockwave therapy is a cutting-edge treatment for joint pain. The device creates controlled and measured pressure waves that are then transferred to the tissue at the end of the applicator with precision. Shockwave therapy works by increasing blood flow to damaged tissues to speed the recovery process while also promoting the growth of new healthy tissue. Studies have shown1 that shockwave therapy can also reduce pain by its direct action on nerves and pain signaling. Shockwave treatment creates a local inflammatory response, which jumpstarts the body’s natural healing process.
Shockwave therapy is performed by one of the trained team members in our office and typically takes about 5 minutes. Most patients respond best after a series of treatments. While shockwave therapy treatments are non-invasive, it is not abnormal to experience a minor amount tingling or discomfort at the site during the treatment. Most patients experience an immediate relief in symptoms after treatment2.
Shockwave therapy is also referred to as: radial shockwave therapy (RSWT), extracorporeal shockwave therapy (ESWT), extracorporeal pulse-activation therapy (EPAT), and radial pressure wave therapy. It does differ, however, from ultrasound or sound wave therapy.
What Conditions Are Treated with Shockwave Therapy?
Shockwave therapy is becoming increasingly popular for athletes (and the general public) with a wide range of soft tissue injuries like strains and sprains. This is because recovery times are much faster compared to invasive procedures, and shockwave therapy helps patients get back to their activities faster3.
Shockwave Therapy is also another great drug-free pain relief option that does more than just cover up the pain. Shockwave Therapy treatments actually help resolve the reasons behind the pain, so you can get back to an active, healthy lifestyle without discomfort. Just a few of the conditions we have treated with shockwave therapy include:
Shockwave Therapy is a great complementary therapy that works in conjunction with other pain relief treatment modalities such as chiropractic adjustments, muscle adjustments, and massage therapy.
Benefits of Shockwave Therapy
There are multiple benefits of shockwave therapy that speed up recovery time for a wide range of conditions4. For example, it enhances circulation to the injured area, which improves oxygen and nutrient delivery to nourish and heal cells.
Another benefit is a reduction in something called “calcification”, which is a problem in damaged tendons particularly. A buildup of calcium stiffens the tendons, but shockwave therapy breaks up and removes the excess calcium waste, while also stimulating collagen production to strengthen and fortify joints, bones, muscles, tendons, skin, and other connective tissues.
In addition, if you suffer from trigger points (knots of tight, tender muscle tissue that cause movement difficulties), shockwave therapy can also help relax and diffuse these problem areas so you can enjoy improved range of motion and pain relief.
Ask About the Shockwave Therapy St. Louis Enjoys for Faster Healing
You deserve to get the healing you need to enjoy life again, and you have drug-free pain relief options here at Gateway Chiropractic with our team of St. Louis chiropractors. If you have soft tissue aches, pains or injuries that have not responded well to other treatments, you owe it to yourself to schedule an appointment to talk with Dr. Sas or Dr. Nelson about your pain and the best ways to resolve it naturally, for the long term, so you can get back to living your life. We look forward to hearing from you!
1. Maemichi T, Tsutsui T, Okunuki T, Hoshiba T, Kumai T. Pain Relief after Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy for Patellar Tendinopathy: An Ultrasound Evaluation of Morphology and Blood Flow. Applied Sciences. 2021; 11(18):8748. https://doi.org/10.3390/app11188748
2. Maemichi T, Tsutsui T, Okunuki T, Hoshiba T, Kumai T. Pain Relief after Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy for Patellar Tendinopathy: An Ultrasound Evaluation of Morphology and Blood Flow. Applied Sciences. 2021; 11(18):8748. https://doi.org/10.3390/app11188748
3. Dina Al-Amir Mohamed, Ragia Mohamed Kamal, Manal Mohamed Gaber, Yasser M. Aneis
Ann Rehabil Med. 2021 Aug; 45(4): 284–293. Published online 2021 Aug 30. doi: 10.5535/arm.21018 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8435468/
4. Crevenna, R., Mickel, M., Schuhfried, O. et al. Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. Curr Phys Med Rehabil Rep 9, 1–10 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40141-020-00306-z