Shockwave Therapy

Shockwave Therapy​

Shockwave therapy, also known as Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy (ESWT), is a non-invasive medical treatment that uses high-energy acoustic waves to stimulate healing and alleviate pain in various musculoskeletal conditions. It can relieve pain and encourage healing of tendons, ligaments, bone conditions and injuries, as well as muscle. Basically, acoustic waves, faster than the speed of sound, create a well-controlled insult to the tissue that causes the release of growth factors and deliver a signal that elevates the migration of healing blood cells to the affected tissue. This therapy also promotes neovascularization, the natural formation of new blood vessels, which increases blood supply to the target area, therefore improving oxygen concentration and stimulating faster healing, pain relief and restoring normal function. In other words, these waves generate mechanical forces that trigger cellular response, increase blood flow, promote tissue regeneration, and modulate pain perception. Dr. Jeannot will not only use this modality by itself but will also apply ESWT together with platelet-rich plasma and exosome injections, as medical research shows that this combination amplifies tissue healing and leads to better gains in functional status.

Applications of Shockwave Therapy

Shockwave therapy is non-invasive, which means there is no need for incisions or anesthesia. It is generally well-tolerated, with minimal side effects and a low risk of complications. The treatment stimulates the body’s natural healing processes, promotes tissue regeneration, and can provide pain relief. Here are some applications of Shockwave Therapy:

Musculoskeletal Conditions

  • Tendon injuries: Achilles tendinopathy, patellar tendinopathy, tennis elbow (lateral epicondylitis), golfer’s elbow (medial epicondylitis), rotator cuff tendinopathy, and plantar fasciitis.
  • Muscle injuries: Myofascial trigger points, muscle strains, and muscle tightness.
  • Bone conditions: Non-union fractures (failure of bone healing), delayed union fractures (slow recovery), and avascular necrosis (lack of blood supply leading to bone tissue death).
  • Calcific tendinitis: Calcium deposits in tendons, typically in the shoulder (rotator cuff).
  • Osteoarthritis: Certain joints are affected by osteoarthritis, such as the knee or hip

Pain Management

  • Chronic musculoskeletal pain: Chronic low back pain, myofascial pain syndrome, and fibromyalgia.
  • Neuralgia: Conditions like trigeminal neuralgia (facial nerve pain) and intercostal neuralgia (rib nerve pain).
  • Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS): A chronic pain condition affecting a limb.

Rehabilitation and Sports Medicine

  • Recovery from sports injuries: Treatment of various sports-related injuries, such as sprains, strains, and tendinopathies.
  • Performance enhancement: Enhancing muscle function and promoting tissue healing for athletes.
  • Delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS): Reducing post-exercise muscle soreness and accelerating recovery.

Urology and Sexual Medicine

  • Erectile dysfunction (ED): Low-intensity shockwave therapy (LiSWT) has been investigated as a non invasive treatment for ED, aiming to improve penile blood flow and promote erectile function.
  • Peyronie’s disease: A condition causing penile curvature due to fibrous scar tissue, shockwave therapy can be used to break down the scar tissue and improve symptoms.

Dermatology

  • Cellulite reduction: Shockwave therapy can be used to target the connective tissue responsible for cellulite and improve its appearance
  • Scar treatment: Helping to improve the appearance and texture of scars.

Shockwave Therapy Preparation and Procedure

Before undergoing shockwave therapy, a healthcare professional will thoroughly assess your condition. This may involve a physical examination, reviewing your medical history, and possibly ordering imaging tests (such as X-rays or ultrasounds) to confirm the diagnosis and determine the appropriate treatment area.

During shockwave therapy, a handheld device delivers controlled acoustic waves to the affected area. The treatment session typically lasts 10 to 20 minutes, and multiple sessions may be required depending on the condition being treated. The procedure is usually performed on an outpatient basis, and anesthesia is not needed.

You may be asked to change into comfortable clothing and lie down or position yourself in a way that allows easy access to the treatment area. Depending on the specific condition being treated, the area may need to be cleaned or shaved to ensure optimal contact with the shockwave applicator

  • Application of gel: A gel or coupling medium is typically applied to the treatment area. This gel helps to transmit the shockwaves and ensures proper contact between the applicator and your skin.
  • Shockwave delivery: The healthcare professional will use a handheld device that emits the shockwaves. The device is placed against your skin at the treatment site. The healthcare professional will then activate the device, delivering the shockwaves to the targeted area.
  • Treatment session: During the treatment session, the shockwaves will be applied in a controlled and measured manner. The intensity and frequency of the shockwaves can be adjusted based on the specific condition and individual tolerance. You may feel rapid, rhythmic pulses or shocks during the procedure. Some discomfort or pain may be experienced, but it is generally tolerable.
  • Duration and number of sessions: The duration of a shockwave therapy session can vary depending on the condition being treated and the size of the treatment area. Typically, a session lasts around 10 to 20 minutes. The number of sessions required will depend on factors such as the severity of the condition, your response to treatment, and the healthcare professional’s treatment plan. It is common to undergo several sessions, typically spaced a week or more apart.
  • Post-treatment care: You can usually resume your normal activities after the procedure. However, your healthcare professional may provide specific post-treatment instructions, such as avoiding strenuous exercise or certain medications that may interfere with healing. They may also offer guidance on pain management or any potential side effects to watch for.

Shockwave Effectiveness, Benefits, and Outcomes

Research shows that the success rate from the application of extracorporeal shockwave therapy (ESWT) in musculoskeletal disorders ranged from 65% to 91%, and the complications were low and negligible. However, the effectiveness of shockwave therapy can vary depending on the specific condition, its severity, and individual patient factors. Some patients experience significant pain relief and symptom improvement, while others may have more modest results. A healthcare professional, such as an orthopedic specialist or physiotherapist, can assess your condition and determine if shockwave therapy is a suitable treatment option for you.

It’s important to note that shockwave therapy should only be performed by trained and qualified healthcare professionals with expertise in administering and managing the specific conditions being treated.

Book a 15-minute complimentary consultation with Dr. Francisco Jeannot to determine if you are a good candidate for Shockwave Therapy.

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