Shockwave Therapy

Shockwave therapy, also known as Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy (ESWT), is a non-invasive medical treatment that utilizes high-energy sound waves to treat various musculoskeletal conditions. It has gained popularity in the field of physiotherapy and orthopedics for its potential therapeutic effects.

Trifecta Rehab Chiropractic Treatment
Trifecta Rehab Chiropractic Treatment

What is Shockwave Therapy?

During a shockwave therapy session, a device delivers controlled pulses of acoustic energy to the affected area of the body. The energy is generated by a compressed air mechanism or an electromagnetic system. The shockwaves penetrate the tissues, producing mechanical and biological effects that stimulate healing and tissue regeneration.

How does Shockwave Therapy work?

The precise mechanism of how shockwave therapy works is not yet fully understood. However, some proposed mechanisms include:

1. Increased blood flow: Shockwaves promote neovascularization (formation of new blood vessels), which can improve blood circulation to the injured area and enhance tissue healing.

2. Stimulation of cell activity: The energy from the shockwaves can stimulate cells involved in tissue repair and regeneration, such as fibroblasts and osteoblasts.

3. Pain modulation: Shockwave therapy may help reduce pain by inhibiting pain receptors and reducing local inflammation.

It’s important to note that shockwave therapy may not be suitable for everyone. Individuals with certain medical conditions, such as pregnancy, blood clotting disorders, or tumor growth, may be advised against it. A qualified healthcare professional, such as a physiotherapist or orthopedic specialist, can determine if shockwave therapy is appropriate for an individual’s specific condition and provide guidance on treatment options.

Is shockwave therapy covered under health insurance plans?

When an adjustment (or manipulation) is performed during chiropractic treatment, a release of gas may occur from within the joint space. This gas often accumulates in joints, and when the gas is released it creates an audible “pop”. This “pop” is the same pop that many hear when they “crack” their knuckles. This release of gas is associated with very minimal, if any discomfort. 

Does shockwave therapy cause discomfort?

Shockwave therapy is typically administered as a series of sessions, depending on the condition being treated. The treatment itself can cause mild discomfort, but anesthesia is not required. Side effects are generally minimal and transient, such as temporary soreness or redness in the treated area.

Is there only one type of shockwave therapy?

Shockwave therapy is used to treat various musculoskeletal conditions, including:

1. Plantar fasciitis: Inflammation and pain in the plantar fascia (a band of tissue in the foot).

2. Achilles tendinopathy: Degeneration or injury to the Achilles tendon, resulting in pain and functional limitations.

3. Tennis elbow (lateral epicondylitis): Pain and inflammation in the tendons of the elbow, commonly caused by repetitive motions.

4. Calcific tendinitis: Calcium deposits in tendons, causing pain and reduced range of motion.

5. Shoulder impingement syndrome: Compression or irritation of structures in the shoulder joint, leading to pain and restricted movement.

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