Shockwave therapy, also known as extracorporeal shockwave therapy (ESWT), has been around for several years. It’s usually used as a non-invasive treatment option for orthopedic or sports injuries. However, urologists have recently started using it to treat erectile dysfunction (ED).
This therapy involves using acoustic sound waves that carry high energy to pain areas in body tissue, promoting the regeneration of bones, tendons, and other soft tissues. If you are struggling with pain from musculoskeletal issues, you could greatly benefit from shockwave therapy. Here are a few benefits of shockwave therapy.
Helps reduce chronic inflammation
Chronic inflammation is a sign of other medical conditions, and it occurs when the normal acute inflammatory response to injury isn’t fully resolved or stopped. This can damage healthy tissue or lead to chronic pain.
Shockwave therapy increases mast cell activation, a critical component of the inflammatory process. Sound waves generated by the shockwave machine cause small vibrations in the tissue, which break down the inflammatory cells and enhance healing.
It’s effective and safe
Most therapies, surgeries, and injections come with several risks, but shockwave therapy is completely non-invasive and relatively safe. This treatment has minimal risks to the recipient, which are most often temporary. Shockwave therapy is, therefore, recommended for most patients, especially those who want to avoid the side effects or risks of other treatments.
However, depending on your overall health, related podiatry issues, and level of pain, there might be, in extremely rare cases, side effects of shockwave therapy. Some of these effects include:
- Mild bruising, numbness and swelling
- Manageable pain two to four hours after the first treatment
- Mild discomfort during treatment
- No response to treatment, but very rare
Promotes new collagen production
Collagen plays an essential role in building and supporting body tissues, including bones, skin, hair, and cartilage. Its main benefit is helping in the formation of fibroblasts in your dermis (middle skin layer), which allows the growth of new cells.
When you are injured, collagen production increases to replace and repair damaged tissue. This process is vital for proper healing and can help prevent further damage. Shockwave therapy has been shown to enhance the production of new collagen, which may facilitate faster healing time and lead to stronger tissues.
Stimulates blood flow
The availability of oxygen to cells in an injured area and adequate blood flow are essential in the healing process. Oxygen plays a crucial role in the formation of new capillaries and infection prevention.
Shockwave therapy supplies nutrients and oxygen to the affected area, which may stimulate blood flow and enhance healing. Nutrients and oxygen are essential in creating a perfect healing environment.
Shockwave therapy begins to reduce pain and restore mobility after the initial session. At most, you will be restricted from high-impact exercise for 48 hours following every session. Although your podiatrist will give more personalized advice, the recovery times following shockwave therapy are considerably shorter than surgery. A shockwave treatment session will generally be between 15 and 20 minutes.
Shockwave therapy is a perfect option for patients with foot or ankle issues and are looking for a new and effective treatment. However, trust only a qualified healthcare professional to administer this treatment to get the best results. Even at the highest level of sport, an experienced podiatrist can help you get back on your feet.
Throughout the year, our writers feature fresh, in-depth, and relevant information for our audience of 40,000+ healthcare leaders and professionals. As a healthcare business publication, we cover and cherish our relationship with the entire health care industry including administrators, nurses, physicians, physical therapists, pharmacists, and more. We cover a broad spectrum from hospitals to medical offices to outpatient services to eye surgery centers to university settings. We focus on rehabilitation, nursing homes, home care, hospice as well as men’s health, women’s heath, and pediatrics.