If you’ve ever struggled with an injury or dealt with an ache that just wouldn’t mend, your body might have benefited from extra help during the healing process. Shockwave therapy can offer such help, jump-starting the body’s ability to regenerate new tissue. It also decreases your pain by directly stimulating your nerves at the site of the injury.
Shockwave is a form of therapy used to deliver treatment directly onto the skin that covers the affected area. This kind of pain relief therapy uses low-energy sound or acoustic waves. These sound waves are ‘radial’ in shape and behavior. They can easily penetrate the skin, and once through, they radiate as a shockwave throughout the affected muscle, joint, or tendon. Shockwave therapy is therefore a targeted type of therapy, only treating the areas that are injured or damaged.
When you go for shockwave treatment, your clinician will use a handheld device connected to a machine that turns compressed air into sound waves. They’ll apply some light pressure and move the device over the area that requires treatment. Ultrasound gel is applied to the skin beforehand to help transmit the shockwaves through the skin.
The sound waves stimulate blood flow to the area and also cause a small amount of localized inflammation. In the days after treatment, the body will work to naturally heal this inflammation, and in doing so, stimulate the repair and regeneration of cells. Damaged or injured tissues then begin to repair and cause the associated pain to reduce.
Most patients require multiple sessions of shockwave therapy, each a week apart before significant pain relief is noticed. Some conditions may require more or less treatments. Your specialist will be able to discuss your particular case and expectations with you. After your course of treatment is completed, your specialist will arrange to see you again to see how you are progressing.
At The PMR Center, our team of doctors can help diagnose the issue. Our PTs and OTs will create a rehab program based on your individual needs and help you improve function and restore strength, motion, and stability. Feel free to contact us if you or anyone you know will benefit from shockwave therapy.