What Is Shockwave Therapy?
If you’ve ever struggled with a sports injury or dealt with an ache that just wouldn’t mend, your body might have benefited from extra help during the healing process. Shockwave therapy can offer such help, jump-starting the body’s ability to regenerate new tissue. It also decreases your pain by directly stimulating your nerves at the site of the injury. Though the name of the treatment makes it sound painful, it’s only mildly uncomfortable for most people.
It’s often prescribed as a treatment for patients who have sports injuries like a golfer’s elbow, tennis elbow, or pulled hamstring. It’s also administered to patients who experience pain in their soft tissues, such as that caused by plantar fasciitis — a painful condition that affects the heels of the feet.
How Does Shockwave Therapy Work?
Shockwave therapy was developed in Germany during the late 1960s. Researchers began studying the effects of shockwaves on the human body and discovered that they affected different parts of the body in different ways: For example, electricity had little effect on fat but proved dangerous to the brain and the lungs. At this point, it was mostly used to break up painful kidney stones to make them easier for patients to pass.
In the 1990s, scientists began to study the effects of high-energy shockwave therapy on soft tissue injuries. Both high-energy and low-energy shockwave treatments work by sending pulses of energy to the injured area.Shockwave therapy may be used to:
⦁ Increase circulation around injured soft tissues
⦁ Break down calcified deposits (like kidney stones)
⦁ Stimulate cells that generate new bone tissue and connective tissue
⦁ Reduce pain by overstimulating nerve endings in the affected area