If you’ve been suffering from muscle or joint pain for a sustained period of time and haven’t been able to find a solution, shock wave therapy is one treatment option that is definitely worth considering. A fairly recent development when compared with more traditional treatment options, shock wave therapy utilizes specialist equipment to administer short bursts of high-energy waves to the affected area of your body. You may also see it referred to as an extra-corporeal treatment. This simply means that the shock waves are applied outside your body.
Traditional Therapies and Conditions Affecting the Musculoskeletal System
Once a condition affecting the musculoskeletal system becomes chronic, there are very few treatment options that are able to actually improve the condition. Physiotherapy, massage and anti-inflammatory injections are all commonly recommended by medical professionals when a musculoskeletal injury is identified, but they are typically only effective in aiding the body’s natural healing process when used in the acute phase of an injury. If the condition doesn’t improve, the effectiveness of these therapies declines with each subsequent use. Shock wave therapy, however, has been proven to be one of a limited number of technologies that can have a positive impact on conditions that have got to the stage where they are considered “non healing” injuries.
How Does Shock Wave Therapy Actually Work?
While there are several different variations of shock wave therapy, differentiated by the way in which the shock waves are actually produced and how intense they are, amongst other things, the way in which the technology helps to encourage the healing process is essentially the same. Shock wave therapy devices send targeted bursts of intense energy waves to the area of the body that the condition is affecting, which helps to improve blood circulation to these areas on a cellular level. These waves also help to improve the metabolism of these cells. These two factors alone are known to have a positive effect on many conditions, and also help to break down and remove deposits of calcium salts, the result of a process known as calcification. These deposits are often made in areas of the body where injuries have been sustained, and while these deposits typically have little effect on your health, in certain cases they have been found to contribute to serious illnesses such as cancer and heart disease. When calcification occurs in joints and connective tissue, it can result in chronic inflammation, causing severe pain and restricting movement.
Shock wave therapy also generates something known as cavitation bubbles, which are liquid free voids that expand before eventually collapsing, generating an energy release that assists in the breakdown of deposits of calcium salts. These bubbles are formed in their thousands after undertaking shock wave therapy, and help to reduce inflammation in joints and soft tissues. Other effects of shock wave therapy include the stimulation of osteoblasts, which subsequently generate new bone cells, helping to improve a wide range of musculoskeletal conditions. Fibroblasts are also kicked into action, which assist in the healing process of connective tissue cells.
What Are The Advantages of Shock Wave Therapy?
- Rapid Pain Relief – Results vary from patient to patient, but a large majority of patients experiencing chronic pain notice an immediate improvement in their condition following shock wave therapy. However, you should be aware that the body’s natural healing process is not something that is completed over night, and you may require regular sessions for a period of several weeks before your condition completely heals.
- No Serious Side Effects – Nearly all traditional forms of treatments for musculoskeletal conditions have a number of side effects, some more serious than others, but that’s not the case with shock wave therapy. Originating in Germany, shock wave therapy technology has been successfully used on millions of patients all over the world without any side effects whatsoever. It is possible to experience less severe side effects like aching or a tingling sensation in the targeted area, but even that is very uncommon.
- Forget About Medication – Anti-inflammatory medications are often prescribed by doctors to treat musculoskeletal conditions and it’s so easy to forget to take them at the recommended intervals, which can affect the outcome of the treatment. This isn’t an issue with shock wave therapy though; just attend your sessions and get on with your life as normal.
- Far Cheaper Than Surgery – Surgery is another route that can be taken to correct chronic conditions. However, before agreeing to surgery you need to consider that you will most likely require time off work. The rates of success with surgery are also far lower than with shock wave therapy and it’s also considerably more expensive.
If you’ve been looking for a convenient tendonitis treatment, tennis elbow treatment or heel spur treatment, shock wave therapy is what you’ve been searching for. It has a proven track record, with a success rate of over 75%, treating a wide range of conditions.