Injuries can have a serious impact on lifestyle and health, which means that physical rehabilitation is an essential step toward recovery. However, physical rehabilitation is a difficult and often painful process for most people, especially when it comes to orthopedic therapy.
Shockwave therapy is an increasingly popular and helpful option that orthopedic specialists, sports medicine practitioners, physiotherapy doctors, and others are implementing in their offices. Not only does this type of therapy provide a non-invasive form of treatment for patients, but it’s also a more cost-effective option that alleviates pain without opioids. Here’s more about shockwave therapy and what providers should know about this equipment.
Shockwave Therapy At A Glance
Shockwave therapy is a method of pain relief, mobility rehabilitation, and recovery for the body, most often for injuries or chronic pain. What does shockwave therapy do? The primary technique works by sending low energy/sound waves to injured or stressed soft tissues in order to promote the natural healing process and increase circulation. The process also helps relieve pain by stimulating nerve endings.
Shockwave therapy may also be referred to as extracorporeal shockwave therapy (ESWT) since it’s a treatment used on the outside of the body.
What Is Shockwave Therapy Used For?
As a multidisciplinary device, shockwave therapy can be used for a variety of symptoms and treatments. The two main treatments are first, to alleviate immediate pain by targeting nerve endings, and second, to stimulate the body’s natural healing process. The main targets in the body include bones, tendons, and other soft tissues, which are encouraged to regenerate and repair via the shockwaves.
More specifically, shockwave therapy can be used to:
- Inflammation reduction
- Stimulation of collagen
- Improved blood flow
- Breakdown of calcium build-up
- Increased cell growth and production
There may be some instances where injuries do require more extensive measures, but shockwave therapy doesn’t have to be the one-and-only solution. Instead, ESWT can be used as one of several important steps of recovery. Physicians and specialists can use shockwave practices as adjunctive therapy or use it as replacement therapy, depending on the situation. For example, a sports injury or some type of recurring pain like tendonitis may require surgery to fully treat the pain. However, shockwave therapy can be used adjacently to manage pain and streamline the healing process.
Who Should Get Shockwave Therapy?
Some of the main areas of medicine where shockwave therapy is most effective include orthopedics, physiotherapy, sports medicine, urology, and veterinary settings. Those that deal with chronic musculoskeletal conditions are great candidates for shockwave therapy, and the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) is a big supporter of shockwave therapy for tendon-related issues especially. Patients who suffer from some form of tendinopathy often benefit from ESWT, with conditions such as:
- Tennis elbow
- Plantar fasciitis
- Achilles tendinopathy
- Golfer’s elbow
- Jumper’s knee
- Morton’s neuroma
- Non-union stress fractures
- Retrocalcaneal bursitis
- Calcific tendinopathy
- Greater trochanteric pain syndrome
- Patella tendinopathy
- Iliotibial band syndrome
Specific patients likely include athletes who aren’t finding relief from other recovery practices (such as icing often, braces, and other physical therapy) but who also aren’t in a position to have an operation. Someone in the middle of their sport’s season, for example, won’t want to operate until later if possible.
How Can My Patients Benefit from Shockwave Therapy?
There are many shockwave therapy benefits, and the results patients can get can make a world of difference. Some of the key benefits that come with ESWT include:
- Non-invasive & holistic treatment. Instead of being faced with difficult and expensive surgery, anesthesia, or numbing agents, shockwave therapy can be either a helpful piece of overall treatment or a long-term solution in certain scenarios.
- Prevents unnecessary prescription drugs. While there are some cases where opioids or prescription drugs are needed, there are times when this type of therapy is enough, which means patients can avoid the tedious, disorienting, and often addictive effects that come with pain medication.
- Improved quality of life. Perhaps most importantly, patients can enjoy their preferred lifestyle without having to live with constant chronic pain. Athletes can continue competing, others can continue performing in their careers, and everyone else dealing with debilitating pain can find some well-deserved and straightforward relief.
Benefits of being a Shockwave Therapy Provider
Shockwave therapy isn’t gaining popularity for no reason; clinical trials are showing more and more that this approach to pain relief is an effective option for many patients. As a provider, it’s always better to be able to provide patients with choices, especially if it helps a patient recover faster, with less pain, and without addictive substances.
Not only this, but it’s also important to give patients innovative and effective care. Providers should consider getting ahead of the curve and staying up-to-date on modern treatments, both to provide the best care and stay competitive in their respective fields.
Shockwave therapy devices are also easy to operate, so even offices that are new and unfamiliar with this kind of treatment will be able to quickly learn and implement the therapy into their routines. It also doesn’t require a sterile environment, meaning it’s easy to create a safe and flexible environment for your patients and your health specialists. All-in-all, the treatment is convenient for both patients and clinics.
Your Next Step: SoftWave Solutions
Medical experts have one of the most demanding jobs out there, and both health professionals and their patients deserve the best treatment options available. Plus, the convenient process of shockwave therapy can provide a simple, but effective solution for some of the most burdensome pain.
SoftWave technologies specialize in tissue regeneration and healing deep, acute, and subacute injuries. With training and support available for new providers, SoftWave shock therapy solutions streamline your work and your success. Become a provider by learning more about SoftWave technologies.