Get to Know the Types and Benefits of Radial Shockwave Therapy

Nowadays, radial shockwave therapy is being used in orthopedics, sports medicine, physiotherapy, and more.

Not only does it give quick pain relief but also results in a marked increase in mobility.

This blog examines what this therapy is, how it works, what forms it can treat, and why you should think of it.

While you are dealing with acute or chronic pain, you need a lasting, efficient solution.

This is where radial shockwave therapy appears. It is an excellent and non-invasive therapy method that helps your body’s innate healing processes.

With this innovative therapy approach, pathological changes of tendons, ligaments, capsules, tissues, and bones can be healed regularly. The radial shockwave systems, for instance, cover a great diversity of suggestions in orthopedic therapy and recovery medicine.

History of Shockwave Therapy

In the 1960s and 1970s, researchers started investigating the effects of shockwaves on human tissue. By the middle of the 1980s, kidney and gallstones were being treated with shockwave lithotripsy. This signaled the arrival of less invasive techniques for the in-vivo therapy of human tissues.

Research on the effects of shock waves on skeletal tissue was initially motivated by worries that shockwaves used to break up kidney stones may potentially injure the hip bones of people getting the therapy. Shockwaves have an osteogenic impact on the bone that can promote and hasten the healing of fractures, as researchers quickly found.

The usefulness of shockwave therapy in treating tendinopathies and bone illnesses such stress fractures, bone edema, and avuncular necrosis was being investigated by the 1990s. The scope of the studies was broadened to include myofascial pain, aesthetic as surgery, wound care, erectile dysfunction, therapy of spasticity, and a variety of other orthopedic disorders.

Shockwave treatment is currently the norm in regenerative medicine. It is frequently used intraoperatively during open heart surgery to treat coronary disease. It has a lot of promise as a treatment for neurodegenerative diseases including Parkinson’s and cerebral palsy.

Benefits Of Shockwave Therapy

Evidence-based and very successful, shockwave therapy (also known as Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy, or ESWT) is a therapeutic option for tendon discomfort.  Mechanical pressure waves are described by the phrase “shockwave.”

A variety of tendon diseases have an overall success rate of between 60% and 80%, with pain reduction success rates after three to five sessions ranging from 65% to 91%.

  • Reduces Pain – Radial shockwave can help to lessen pain from soft tissue, bone, and joint injuries. Additionally, it works wonders in the treatment of overuse and sports injuries. By desensitizing the nerve terminals, shockwave therapy reduces pain by typically providing instant relief.
  • Blood Flow in the region Is Increased – The sound waves increase blood flow to the region and briefly induce some irritation. Then, when the body strives to reduce inflammation, it encourages cell development and repair. The discomfort is then lessened as damaged tissues start to heal.
  • No need for medication – As shockwave therapy does not call for the use of medicine, patients may avoid any potential adverse effects.
  • Cost-effective – Compared to surgical treatments, shockwave therapy is a more affordable treatment option since it often involves fewer office visits and less time away from work.
  • Trigger New Blood Vessel Growth – Shockwave therapy’s sound waves induce micro ruptures in capillaries, tendons, and bones, which trigger the production of growth factors and lead to the formation of new blood vessels. The arterioles thereafter undergo remodeling, are encouraged to expand, and new ones are created. This aids quicker healing by increasing the area’s blood supply and oxygenation.
  • Breaks Down Scar Tissue – Shockwave can assist in breaking down any thick, fibrous scar tissue that is causing you discomfort. Breaking down scar tissue can promote mobility and decrease pain since it restricts motion in the surrounding area.
  • Collagen Production Stimulation – Collagen stimulation is essential for the restoration of injured tissue.
  • Breaks Down Calcified Tissue – Microtears or trauma can lead to calcium buildup in the tissue. The calcified tissue is broken down by the sound waves from the Radial Shockwave, increasing mobility.
  • Quick and simple – You only need to lay motionless for around 15 minutes for each shockwave session. For the damage to be treated, you could need several treatments.
  • Non-invasive – As shockwave therapy does not require surgery or incisions, it is a non-invasive kind of treatment. This makes it a more secure and comfortable option than surgery.
  • Effective – Shockwave treatment has been demonstrated to be successful in treating a variety of ailments, including tendinopathy, calcific tendinitis, and plantar fasciitis. Moreover, it can increase blood flow and encourage tissue regeneration.
  • Rapid recovery – Shockwave treatment is non-invasive; therefore patients often recover more quickly than they would from surgery. After therapy, many individuals may resume their regular activities right away.

What happens during shockwave therapy?

You could feel a little discomfort during the RPW shockwave therapy, but skilled podiatrists will monitor your response to make sure you are not in agony. You should feel instant relief from acute pain following shockwave therapy since it has an analgesic impact. After one or two sessions, you will benefit from improved mobility because the treatments also encourage collagen formation.

Fast treatment

For good long-term pain relief, doctors typically need to see you 3-6 times, each visit being spaced approximately a week apart. Each session lasts around 20 minutes, and after the initial treatment, the majority of patients report experiencing much less discomfort. Shockwave therapy is utilized as a component of an individualized treatment plan created to address underlying foot problems.

Minimal Side Effects

Compared to surgery, shockwave treatment has a significantly lower chance of adverse consequences. There may, in extremely rare circumstances, be negative consequences with ESWT, depending on your level of discomfort, general health, and relevant podiatric conditions:

  • 2-4 hours after initial treatments, tolerable discomfort
  • little pain when receiving therapy
  • mild edema, numbness, and/or bruising
  • Ineffectiveness of therapy (extremely rare)

Quick Recovery

After the first session, RPW shockwave therapy begins to reduce discomfort and regain mobility. You will be prohibited from engaging in high-impact exercise for no more than 48 hours after each session. Although your podiatrist will provide more individualized guidance, in general, shockwave therapy recovery times are far quicker than those following surgery.

So, How Does Radial Shockwave Therapy Work?

The idea behind this program is to introduce micro-trauma to the area being operated. This, in essence, may trigger your body’s natural healing answer.

Medical practitioners use shockwave therapy devices to introduce high-energy sound waves into the body for short intervals.

The resultant force penetrates the muscle and excites cells that are effective for bone and connective tissue healing. This increases the body’s metabolism, enhances blood flow to the area, and finally promotes the regeneration process.

How Is Radial Shockwave Therapy Performed?

It is a quick manner with minimal pain.

A radial shockwave therapy machine is mainly used to deliver the therapy. The handpiece sends sound waves to the injured area in slow, circular movements.

The duration of the treatment may range from 7 minutes up to 30 minutes, depending on the size and number of regions treated. In general, most patients need three to six sessions, and there is no downtime for healing.

What Conditions Can Radial Shockwave Therapy Treat?

Radial shockwave therapy has been chiefly used to treat several musculoskeletal issues. Some of the conditions that can be healed with radial shockwave therapy include:

  • Plantar fasciitis
  • Hamstring tendonitis
  • Lower back pain
  • Frozen shoulder
  • Calcific tendonitis
  • Tennis elbow
  • Shin splints
  • Stress fractures
  • Calf muscle shortening
  • Soft tissue conditions
  • Hip bursitis
  • Neck pain

Which problems are effectively treated using shockwave therapy?

For a variety of problems, shockwave therapy is an effective treatment. It groups the grievances into the following five groups:

1. Tendons

Painful patellar, supraspinatus, lateral (tennis) elbow and Achilles tendons are the most frequent tendon issues that may be addressed.

2. Bones 

Medial tibial stress syndrome (shin splints) and greater trochanteric pain syndrome are the two most prevalent bone diseases.

3. Neurological Conditions 

It is well acknowledged that radial shockwave therapy is effective for treating muscular stiffness in both cerebral palsy children and adults with hemiplegia.

4. Muscles 

Treatment for muscular hypertonia, muscle discomfort, and trigger points. 

5. Adhesive tissue 

Scar tissue, trigger finger, and plantar fasciopathy are a few conditions for which shockwave treatment has been used.

Why Should You Consider Radial Shockwave Therapy?

There are several causes why both practitioners and patients favor radial shockwave therapy. These include:

  • Studies have shown that it has a documented success rate. Dr. Kate Kass, who works with a big number of acute and chronic conditions, is sharing the results from double-blind, randomized control thoughts that demonstrate the effectiveness of shockwave therapy:
    • 92% improvement for calcific tendonitis of the shoulder
    • 78% improvement for tennis elbow
    • 77% improvement for Achilles’ tendinopathy
    • 81% improvement for radial and ulnar humeral epicondylitis
    • 75% improvement for patellar tendonitis/achillodynia
  • Radial shockwave therapy usually reduces the need for surgery – pointing to a reduction in risks and difficulties and the recovery time. It is entirely non-invasive, and anesthesia is not required.
  • You can get results sooner and proceed to go about your routine.

Are you suffering from chronic pain? Give radial shockwave therapy a try. Get in touch with Dr. Kass, a physician with years of experience in radial shockwave therapy and research, to find out more about your pain.

If you are looking to add radial shockwave therapy to your practice, contact Dr. Kass to learn more about the shockwave therapy itself, the equipment used and the offered options.