If you are suffering from some sort of musculoskeletal disorder and have tried all the traditional forms of treatment to no avail, your doctor may recommend shock wave therapy (SWT). Although it’s name might sound as though there is a certain degree of pain involved, the reality is that shock wave therapy is a painless form of treatment and the vast majority of patients experience no side effects whatsoever. Added to that, it has a success rate of over 75% and has been proven to be one of the most effective forms of treatment when a condition becomes chronic. All of these factors have resulted in shock wave therapy being recommended to millions of patients across the world; but what conditions is it used to treat and how do you know if it would be well suited to your situation?
What Conditions Can Be Treated By Shock Wave Therapy?
Shock wave therapy has been used to successfully treat a wide range of conditions affecting the musculoskeletal system, and is particularly effective in dealing with those that affect an area where connective tissue attaches itself to bone. Some of the conditions that shock wave therapy is commonly used to treat include:
- Heel Spurs, Plantar Fasciitis and Achilles Tendonitis – SWT is commonly used as part of heel spur treatment, plantar fasciitis treatment and tendonitis treatment plans. These three conditions are usually linked, since the development of heel spurs can lead to the other two conditions. Heel spurs are caused by calcium deposits and are boney growths that jut out just under the heel area. They require the use of an X-ray machine to detect and can cause chronic inflammation of the Achilles tendon and the tissue that connects the heel to the toes.
- Tennis Elbow – Ironically tennis elbow is a condition that predominately affects people that don’t actually play tennis. It often occurs as a result of overusing the tendons in the elbow, which can be hard to avoid depending on your occupation. SWT has become the preferred tennis elbow treatment in cases where the condition has become chronic.
- Patellar Tendonitis -The patellar tendon plays a vital role in our ability to move our legs, connecting the kneecap to the shin. If you start to notice pain in this area when completing physical activity, you could well be suffering from patellar tendonitis, which will require tendonitis treatment.
- Bursitis – Bursitis is a condition that can affect various areas of the human body, including the hip, shoulder and elbow, and is characterised by the inflammation of the bursae, which are very small sacs filled with a fluid that protect your bones, muscles and connective tissues. Shock wave therapy is routinely used to reduce this inflammation, particularly in the hip area, and has been found to minimise the chances of repeated flare-ups.
- Shin Splints – Shin splints are a fairly common problem amongst those who undertake physical activity on a regular basis, particularly those who frequently run on a hard surface. If you feel pain running along your shinbone, or just behind it, you are suffering from shin splints. Rest and ice are commonly advised, but these treatments often only provide a temporary solution. Shock wave therapy can help to banish shins splints for good.
- Chronic Muscular Pain – This can be experienced for a whole number of reasons, but the most common causes are physical trauma, stress and overuse. The pain is often focused in one area of the body and can be minimised and eventually removed altogether by undergoing shock wave therapy.
Is Shock Wave Therapy A Suitable Form of Treatment For Me?
As the leading distributor of shock wave therapy machines in Canada, we often receive questions relating to the suitability of shock wave therapy. In other words, is the cost involved likely to benefit the condition the client is suffering from? First and foremost, we would always advise you to seek the advice of a qualified healthcare professional, who will complete a thorough examination of your condition. However, as a basic rule of thumb, shock wave therapy should be considered if:
- Your condition is considered chronic and you have been suffering from it for an extended period of time (at least three months).
- The condition affects an area where connective tissue attaches to bone.
Are There Any Contraindications to Shock Wave Therapy?
While shock wave therapy rarely produces any side effects, in some cases it is not recommended. If you suffer from any of the following conditions, SWT should be avoided.
- Heart or Circulatory Conditions
- Tumour Diseases and Cancer Patients
- Coagulation Disorders
Should you have any questions about shock wave therapy or the technology it uses, the professionals at Magne-Tec would be more than happy to assist you.