Extracorpeal Shock Wave Therapy can be used to treat a wide variety of musculoskeletal conditions, particularly those involving areas where major connective tissues attach to bones. Complaints involving attachment points for tendons and ligaments in major joints like the shoulder (ex. rotator cuff), elbow (epicondylitis), hip, knee (tendonitis) are common for ESWT.
One of the areas most frequently treated with ESWT is the foot. Some conditions in the foot that have been treated include,
Additional Treatment areas:
And as ESWT encourages bone healing. It has been used to treat:
How High-Energy Shockwave Therapy works
The shockwave treatments are performed using a state-of-the- art, high-energy system called the OssaTron, the first device developed specifically for ESWT. This device generates electrohydraulic shockwaves- short sound waves with extremely high energy- within a fluid-filled assembly, directing them to a soft plastic head.
The assembly is positioned with the head, in contact with the skin, aimed precisely at the targeted area. Controls are set to focus the shockwave so that they travel through the skin and tissue without damaging it- releasing their maximum energy deep inside the tissue, right at the painful spot that needs treatment.
The energy of the shockwave delivers a “micro-trauma” to the targeted spot that literally shocks the body into healing. The body responds by addressing the damage and inflamation at the source of the chronic pain, starting with the construction of new blood vessels.
Stimulated and reinvigorated, the body’s self healing processes complete the repair and rebuilding. New, healthy tissue develops, restoring function and reducing or eliminating pain in areas that were formerly afflicted by severe imflamation by microscopically-torn fibers or other seemingly irreparable damage.
As healing progresses, the body is able to breakdown and absorb calcific deposits. The pressure exerted on the tissue during shockwave treatment also has a direct and primary analgesic effect, in addition to stimulating long-term healing.
Most patients treated with shockwave experience a marked improvement within several weeks. Their range of motion increases as a result of the lessening of pain. Freedom from symptoms is usually achieved after a single treatment.
ESWT has few side effects. In individual cases, however, patients may experience temporary skin reddening, pain or worsening of symptoms during the first one to three weeks after treatment, or “bruises” (hematomas) in the soft tissue.
Shockwave treatments are performed at an outpatient surgery center. Patients are asked to arrive about an hour before scheduled treatment so that information about their general health can be fully reviewed and updated. After the anestesteologist administers sedation, the actual shockwave session takes between 15 and 30 minutes.
Patients awaken from the anesthesia soon after the treatment is complete, but typically relax for a few minutes at the surgery center while full alertness returns, along with the confidence to walk safely on their own (as with any treatment involving anesthesia, however, it is required that patients bring another driver to the surgery center to drive them home).
Patients are asked to restrict “stressful activity” like jogging or heavy physical work, or participating in sports, for four weeks followingtreatment. Moderate pain directly after treatment is normal but quickly subsides. Patients generally take only a non-narcotic, non-prescription analgesic like acetaminophen when they leave the surgery center-any many have no need for any pain relief medicine at all.
Call us for any questions you might have about your specific medical condition and if Extracorporeal Shockwave Treatment (ESWT) is right for you.