Shockwave Therapy

Feb 08, 2023

Many of you have (literally) heard our new treatment device that we just added to the office—shockwave therapy, or radial pressure wave therapy (RPW).

How does it work?

Shockwave therapy is much like a rock being thrown into a calm, still lake. Once that rock hits the water, waves ripple out, ultimately affecting a much larger area. With shockwave, high-energy acoustic waves are generated and in doing so, tell the body to start repairing chronic injuries by getting rid of old, weak, or damaged cells and replacing them with new, healthy cells. It does this by breaking up calcifications, releasing growth factors, and increasing blood circulation to the injured area.

What can I expect during and after the treatment?

When the device is turned on, it can be a little shocking as to the noise it produces, but is something that you quickly get used to. We will go over your trouble spots with the wand and once we locate those painful spots, that’s where we will focus treatment. At first, those trouble spots can definitely be a bit more sensitive. We do customize the treatment to each person’s pain tolerance, but we are trying to reach a pain level of five out of ten on the pain scale. It is not uncommon to feel sore afterward up to 24 hours. Like many of our treatment modalities, we want to encourage you to avoid taking any anti-inflammatories (think Advil, Motrin, Ibuprofen, Aleve) because we want to stimulate the body’s natural inflammatory process for healing. Besides that, you can go on about your day and even exercise after if you feel up to it.

When you come in for treatment, make sure to wear clothing that allows us access to the treatment area. We will use a little ultrasound gel and need to make direct contact with the skin.

Most patients feel results right away and need about 4-6 treatments over six to 12 weeks for lasting symptom resolution.

How long does the treatment take?

Treatment for one area typically takes about 15 minutes

What conditions benefit from this treatment?

Most chronic musculoskeletal conditions will highly benefit from shockwave therapy including (but definitely not limited to):

  • Tennis and/or Golfer's Elbow
  • Plantar Fasciitis
  • Jumper's Knee
  • Bursitis
  • Frozen Shoulder
  • Rotator Cuff Injuries
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Achilles Tendinitis

What are the contraindications?

  • Acute or new injuries
  • Pregnancy
  • Blood clotting disorders
  • Taking anti-coagulant medication
  • Infection or open skin abrasion at the treatment site
  • Receiving a steroid injection in the last 6 weeks
  • Having an internal pacemaker/defibrillator
  • Presence of tumors at the treatment site

Category: Shockwave Therapy