Achieve Chronic Pain Relief With Radial Shockwave Therapy
Pain that lasts for three months or more is considered chronic and can occur anywhere in the body. Ranging from mild to debilitating, it is most commonly in muscles and joints. While athletes or older adults often experience this type of pain, it can strike anyone. Typical symptoms include:
- Mild to acute pain that doesn’t go away
- Shooting, burning pain
- Stiffness, soreness or tightness that occurs for no apparent reason
People who experience pain long-term may get depressed and begin withdrawing from their usual social and physical activities. Individuals may seek relief by using steroid injections, medications, and a variety of splints, braces and shoe inserts. While there may be short-term relief, the pain can return. Radial Shockwave Therapy, also known as Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy, is a noninvasive treatment for chronic pain that has not subsided with anti-inflammatories or immobilization devices.
What Is Shockwave Therapy?
A multidisciplinary device is used to treat chronic pain of the musculoskeletal system. Some patients experience a significant reduction in pain with just one 18-minute session. Because it is noninvasive, there is less risk and expense associated with the treatment.
How Does Shockwave therapy Work?
Short, intense energy waves are aimed at the pain site, generally where connective tissue attaches to the bone, such as the rotator cuff, hip, knee and foot. During treatment, electromagnets generate a signal through water, creating a shockwave. This signal is directed through a lens to a highly focused area. Each high-pressure wave has a lifecycle of approximately ten nanoseconds and consists of low energy and high energy.
The low-energy waves disrupt the cell membranes, removing pain. When the high-energy waves interact with the damaged tissue, the body responds by creating capillary micro-ruptures that increase blood flow, delivering oxygen to the damaged area. As it stimulates the pain site, the body begins a reparative healing cycle. The result is new, healthy tissue in an area that had few or no blood vessels.
Who Can Benefit?
Shockwave therapy may be considered appropriate for many individuals who experience chronic pain, from professional athletes and fitness enthusiasts to older adults. Treatment has been shown effective in a variety of painful conditions:
- Plantar fasciitis
- Achilles tendonitis
- Tennis elbow
- Shoulder tendonitis
In plantar fasciitis and Achilles tendonitis, pain results due to inflammation or tiny tears in the plantar fascia, the tough tissue that supports the arch of the foot and the Achilles tendon. Any swelling and soreness can be treated with medication, lasers or orthotics. Shockwave therapy is used to repair the damaged tissue.
Tennis elbow is the result of movement that engages the forearm muscles repeated. Although it is an affliction in athletes, it is also a common workplace injury. Shoulder tendonitis is similar to tennis elbow, although it is due to repeated movements or calcification in the upper arm bone.
Radial shockwave therapy is effective in these conditions, as the pain occurs where the tendon attaches to bone or a bone connects to a ligament. While there may be some soreness or bruising after treatment, there is often no downtime and no time off work needed. Moreover, the pain-relieving effects are almost immediate.