What You Need to Know About Shockwave Therapy
Your doctor recommended a shockwave therapy for your injury. Other than promoting healing and treating pain, you do not know a thing about it. It is the time that you know what this is all about. Shockwave therapy is a relatively new treatment technology. It is proven to be effective in treating localized musculoskeletal pain including tendon injuries.
You should not be afraid because it is non-invasive. It means that there is no need to introduce instruments into the body. Here are other things that you need to know about shock wave therapy:
How does this therapy work?
There is a machine that can apply mechanical pressure pulses. This will lead to the formation of cavitation and bubbles in the soft tissue area or tendon – areas where the supply of blood cannot reach effectively. These pulses will effectively disrupt the soft tissue and tendon triggering the body to start healing.
This process is called revascularisation. Revasculations brings long-term benefit. This treatment is an alternative if there is a possibility of a cortisone injection.
What conditions will the therapy treat?
You should know that shockwave therapy is best for chronic long-term injuries like tennis elbow, tendonitis, plantar fasciitis, ankle, knee, shoulder, and wrist. These injuries cause serious pain. In fact, this treatment is popular for rowers, footballers, tennis players and runners.
What conditions is it not suitable for?
The therapy is not suitable for injuries that are near to the lungs or chest. It is not also suitable for pregnant patients. If you are below 18, this therapy is not an option unless you have Osgood Schlatter’s disease. Finally, if you have a case of pre-ruptured tendons, shockwave therapy will not be helpful.
When is the right time to seek this therapy?
For an athlete, there is nothing worse than finding out you are not responding to a treatment. Treatments stop working when a muscle or tendon has been overused. In the case of tendon injuries, the blood supply is typically weak. When the blood supply is weak, the body is not healing or naturally repairing. It is during this point that many doctors consider shockwave therapy.
What happens during a therapy session?
The therapy sessions usually last from five to ten minutes. The results are cumulative; this means that the results are felt after three to four sessions. The number of your shockwave sessions will depend on your pain problem.
You have to know that the therapy is uncomfortable. You will immediately feel relief from pain but there will be some soreness within two to four hours. Patients are recommended to refrain from doing any physical activity that may comprise the treated region for forty-eight hours.
What is the difference between shockwave and ultrasound?
Ultrasound only tackles lower-grade pain and help reduces its inflammation. Shockwave therapy treats localized musculoskeletal pain including tendon injuries with repair function.
When you are dealing with musculoskeletal pain, it is a relief knowing that there is a new therapy that works. However, you should discuss your therapy options to your doctor. After discussing, you should locate a clinic or hospital offering such services. You can start with sports medicine facilities.