For chronic pain patients or those who are suffering from pain due to an injury, there is always a search for what can give better results from treatment. Fortunately, developments are continually being made to help improve chronic pain symptoms and help patients return to a life they love.
In this article, we will discuss shockwave therapy as a means of treatment for pain and injuries.
What Is Shockwave Therapy?
Shockwave therapy, or extracorporeal shock wave therapy (ESWT), is a non-invasive medical treatment that uses powerful high-energy sound waves to improve blood flow, reduce pain, and stimulate healing and tissue regeneration. It was initially used to treat kidney stones, but doctors found that it helped with non-healing fractures, too. Today, shockwave therapy is used to treat a variety of musculoskeletal conditions, such as plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendonitis, tennis elbow, and rotator cuff tendinopathy. It shows great results in the treatment of tendon injuries.
There is a reason why shockwave therapy use has become so popular. While patients typically undergo several sessions of treatment, positive results are felt from the very first session. Check out the studies below to learn more:
- One study published in the AFP Journal found that shockwave therapy was effective in reducing chronic plantar fasciitis pain after three once-weekly treatments. These patients also received prior pharmacologic and non-pharmacologic treatments to no avail.
- In another recent study, shockwave therapy was shown to improve pain symptoms and function in patients with shoulder impingement syndrome after just three once-per-week sessions compared to the placebo group. The shockwave therapy group had a 2.4-point improvement in the Shoulder Pain and Disability Index (SPADI) score, compared to a 0.8-point improvement in the placebo group.
- A meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials published in the Journal of Orthopaedic Research in 2018 found that shockwave therapy was an effective treatment for Achilles tendonitis, with significant improvements in pain and function of patients in the shockwave therapy group, especially when combined with other therapies. The shockwave therapy group had a 21.8-point improvement in the Victorian Institute of Sport Assessment-Achilles (VISA-A) score, compared to a 7.5-point improvement in the placebo group.
- In a study of 154 patients with tennis elbow, those who received shock wave therapy treatments in three, one-week intervals had a 3.6-point improvement in the Patient-Rated Tennis Elbow Evaluation (PRTEE) score, compared to a 1.2-point improvement in the placebo group.
- A 2020 study in the Journal of Shoulder and Elbow Surgery involving patients with rotator cuff tendinopathy who received shockwave therapy found that they experienced a 14.3-point improvement in the Constant-Murley score, compared to a 5.6-point improvement in the placebo group, with just three sessions of shockwave therapy.
Now that you have seen the studies, it’s time for you to determine if shockwave therapy is right for you. Shockwave therapy can be used in the treatment of many other injuries, such as jumper’s knee, heel spurs, retrocalcaneal bursitis, calcific tendonitis, and osteochondritis. Consult a licensed medical professional trained in administering shockwave therapy to ensure you are getting safe and effective treatment.
Shockwave Therapy in Dallas, TX
At Reagan Integrated Sports Medicine, we focus on treating athletes and weekend warriors who are injured and suffering from pain. Our sports medicine doctors and chiropractic medicine specialists are trained and experienced in the use of shockwave therapy to treat many musculoskeletal conditions. We make sure our patients are good candidates for the procedure and strive to give a comfortable experience. Since we are a sports medicine and rehabilitation facility, we offer comprehensive care to get you back on your feet in no time.