Li-ESWT Devices Compared [Guide] 

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Low-Intensity Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy (Li-ESWT) represents a significant advancement in non-invasive medical treatments, offering substantial benefits in various medical disciplines including orthopedics, podiatry, urology, and physical therapy. This guide provides a detailed comparison of professional-grade Li-ESWT devices, focusing on their clinical applications. 

Understanding Li-ESWT in Clinical Practice

Shockwave therapy uses acoustic waves characterized by high peak pressures, rapid pressure increases, and non-periodicity. These waves induce microtrauma, promote angiogenesis, and mitigate inflammation at targeted sites. The technology is differentiated into low-intensity and high-energy treatments, each suited for specific medical applications.

Low-Intensity vs. High-Energy Shockwaves

While high-energy shockwaves are focused and used to disintegrate urinary stones and treat orthopedic conditions, low-intensity shockwaves (Li-ESWT) are used primarily for their therapeutic properties without causing physical destruction. Li-ESWT is clinically valuable because it enhances angiogenesis, facilitates the healing of soft tissue, and supports bone repair, making it ideal for treating injuries and promoting faster recovery.

Li-ESWT devices may employ various technologies such as:

  • Electromagnetic: Generates shockwaves using an electromagnetic coil or solenoid.
  • Electrohydraulic: Creates shockwaves through the discharge of a high-voltage capacitor into a fluid medium.
  • Acoustic pneumatic: Uses pressurized air to drive a projectile within a cylinder to generate radial waves, which is not a true shockwave.
  • Piezoelectric: Utilizes piezoelectric crystals that expand and contract rapidly under an electrical field to produce shockwaves.

Each technology type can produce focused or unfocused waves. Focused waves are precise and are generally used for targeting specific deep tissues, whereas unfocused waves affect a broader area, suitable for inducing general cellular responses for healing and regeneration.

Comparison of the Most Popular Li-ESWT Devices

This section outlines the most relevant Li-ESWT devices currently available, highlighting their technological frameworks, FDA clearances, primary clinical applications, patient comfort levels, and technical specifications. 

SoftWave Therapy

  • Indications: SoftWave Therapy is broadly applicable for treating conditions like diabetic foot ulcers, chronic pain due to musculoskeletal disorders, and activation of connective tissue. Its broad-focused shockwave technology makes it effective in managing a wide array of clinical scenarios, from wound care to enhancing blood supply.
  • Technology: SoftWave utilizes electrohydraulic technology to generate broad-focused, parallel shockwaves. This unique approach allows for a comprehensive treatment area, impacting both superficial and deep tissues without causing microtrauma, which is critical for patient comfort and recovery.
  • Clinical Uses: SoftWave is used extensively in orthopedics, podiatry, urology, and wound care. Its ability to stimulate natural healing processes at the cellular level, combined with a broad FDA clearance for multiple indications, makes it an essential tool for a variety of clinical applications.

Stemwave Modus F

  • Indications: The Stemwave Modus F is used for acute and chronic musculoskeletal pain. It’s utilized effectively in managing conditions such as back pain, knee pain, and other musculoskeletal disorders.
  • Technology: This device leverages focused electrohydraulic shockwave technology. Known for its Area Directed Technology (ADT), Modus F uses a larger focal zone that can treat more extensive areas. 
  • Clinical Uses: Modus F is predominantly used by orthopedic healthcare providers for treating chronic musculoskeletal conditions​

Storz D-Actor 100-200

  • Indications: The Storz D-Actor 100-200 is utilized primarily in aesthetic medicine for body contouring, cellulite reduction, and skin elasticity improvement.
  • Technology: This device employs radial acoustic wave technology, which is different from the focused shockwaves used in many other medical shockwave devices.
  • Clinical Uses: It’s used in aesthetic applications rather than deep tissue or musculoskeletal conditions, making it popular in cosmetic and dermatological treatments.

Storz Duolith SD1 T-TOP Ultra

  • Indications: The Storz Duolith SD1 T-TOP Ultra is aimed at treating chronic pelvic pain syndrome, erectile dysfunction, and other deep tissue disorders.
  • Technology: It features electromagnetic shockwave technology, which is capable of generating focused shockwaves.
  • Clinical Uses: It is used for treating conditions such as erectile dysfunction and Peyronie’s disease. It also addresses pain and supports recovery in sports and orthopedic conditions, and is utilized in wound care for diabetic foot ulcers

SanuWave dermaPACE

  • Indications: The SanuWave dermaPACE is used for wound care, particularly for treating diabetic foot ulcers and other chronic wounds.
  • Technology: This device uses focused electrohydraulic shockwaves to stimulate healing in wound and burn care.
  • Clinical Uses: It promotes accelerated wound healing by activating the body’s natural healing processes at the cellular level, making it vital in advanced wound care management.

DJO Chatanooga

  • Indications: DJO Chattanooga devices are primarily used for treating musculoskeletal conditions, including specific indications such as chronic plantar fasciitis.
  • Technology: This device uses electromagnetic shockwave technology to provide focused treatment.
  • Clinical Uses: It is particularly noted for its application in pain management and is used by healthcare professionals to address pain and inflammation in orthopedic conditions. 
Device NameTechnologyWave TypeFDA Clearances and ApplicationsKey Conditions TreatedPain Levels / Anesthesia NeedsTechnical SpecificationsSupport and Service
SoftWaveElectrohydraulicUnfocusedActivation of connective tissue, Diabetic foot ulcers, Improved blood supply, Plantar fasciitis, Pain relief, Acute burnsMusculoskeletal, Diabetic ulcers, sexual healthNo anesthesia, prevents microtrauma8.5 x 15.75 x 18 in, 36.5 lbsUS service, on-site training
Stemwave Modus FElectrohydraulicFocusedNoneAcute and chronic painCauses microtrauma13.78 x 17.71 x 36.61 in, 137 lbsNone
Sanuwave dermaPACEElectrohydraulicFocusedDiabetic foot ulcersWound care, Diabetic ulcersRequires no anesthesia15 x 12 x 8 in, 17 lbsUS service, on-site training
Storz Duolith SD1ElectromagneticFocusedPlantar fasciitisChronic pain, Deep tissue disordersNo anesthesiaN/AUS service, on-site training
DJO ChattanoogaElectromagneticFocusedPlantar fasciitisMusculoskeletal conditionsLocal anesthetic may be usedN/ANot specified
Storz D-Actor 100-200Acoustic pneumaticRadialNoneAesthetic medicineCauses microtrauma11.4 x 9.4 x 12.2 in, 23 lbsUS service, on-site training

Key Considerations for Clinics Choosing Li-ESWT Devices

When selecting a Li-ESWT device, clinics should consider several key factors:

  • Efficiency and Clinical Outcomes: The choice of technology impacts the efficacy of treatments and clinical outcomes. Devices should be selected based on the specific medical conditions treated and the desired depth of wave penetration.
  • Patient Comfort and Treatment Duration: Devices that operate with less noise and discomfort are preferable, as they enhance patient comfort and compliance.
  • FDA Approvals and Inspections: Devices that are FDA-approved for specific treatments offer reassurance of their efficacy and safety, whereas FDA inspections signify compliance with manufacturing and operational standards.
  • Logistics: Portability, ease of maintenance, and user training are crucial for operational efficiency in clinical settings.

Spotlight on SoftWave: A Comprehensive Option for Clinicians

SoftWave stands as a pioneering force in the realm of Li-ESWT. Its state-of-the-art design incorporates electrohydraulic mechanisms to produce broad-focused shockwaves. These waves are efficiently distributed via a patented parabolic reflector applicator, ensuring an extensive coverage area. Unlike focused shockwaves which typically penetrate a smaller zone (1.5cm x 12cm), SoftWave’s reach extends broadly (7cm x 12cm) and deeply without inducing the microtrauma often associated with conventional shockwave methods.

With FDA clearance, SoftWave’s technology is validated for both safety and efficacy. It is sanctioned for a variety of applications including the activation of connective tissue, healing diabetic foot ulcers, enhancing blood circulation, treating heel pain stemming from chronic proximal plantar fasciitis, and managing pain. This wide range of clearances, among its other indications, reflects SoftWave’s adaptability and effectiveness in addressing diverse clinical needs.

Why Choose SoftWave Therapy for Your Clinic?

Selecting the right Li-ESWT device is pivotal for aligning with specific clinical needs and optimizing patient care. SoftWave therapy not only meets a broad spectrum of therapeutic requirements but also supports clinics in improving operational efficiency and patient satisfaction due to its non-invasive nature and quick treatment cycles. The benefits of integrating SoftWave into your practice include enhanced treatment efficacy, patient comfort, and a notable reduction in recovery times, making it an indispensable addition to any modern clinic.

Take the next step in advancing patient care—become a SoftWave provider today! Contact us to schedule a demo or sign up to purchase and experience the difference firsthand.

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