Shock wave as a biological therapeutic tool: From mechanical stimulation to recovery and healing, through mechanotransduction
It is amazing how the human body system is designed with a natural self-healing system. Shockwave therapy (SW) can make you experience this amazing power in action. In fact, serious injuries have been treated by applying high-energy acoustics to trigger the natural recovery process. The treatment is done without any surgery and no painkillers. Turramurra Sports & Spinal Physiotherapy is successfully using the therapy on musculoskeletal injuries and disorders, breaking down gall and kidneys stones, in addition to other soft tissue injuries.
Shockwave (SW) allows patients to return to their regular activities almost immediately. Sometimes the procedure can be uncomfortable, calling for slow and incremental treatments. Since it stimulates the body’s inflammatory fighting mechanisms, no drugs are needed after the treatment. Patients experience limited side effects, unlike what they would in surgery and drug-related therapies.
How it works
Research has proven that shockwaves can stimulate movements within the cellular tissue. It is such migrations that help the regenerative process of the injured tissue. Shockwaves can work on both soft tissue and the bone cells. The waves can also stimulate the nervous system to manage the inflammatory problems.
During shockwave treatment, the therapist locates the area to be treated by feeling with the hands or fingers. A gel is then applied to the skin around the area before the shockwave applicator is used, with a gentle push. The waves of energy created by the applicator are then delivered to the injured part in a focused sequence. Shockwave therapy has proven to be effective in the following conditions:
- Tennis elbow – This refers to the condition that causes pain on the elbow as a result of strained tendons and muscles of the arm close to the elbow joint.
- Achilles tendonitis – It is a condition affecting the Achilles tendon at the heel.
- Jumper’s knee – This is an injury to the patellar tendon at the kneecap.
- Injuries of the rotator calf muscles(on the shoulders)
- Shin splints
- Urological conditions (kidney stones and gallstones)
- Back pain and chronic muscular conditions
Types of shockwave treatments
Shockwave treatments usually take focused and radial approaches. A focused shockwave directs intense sound waves towards deeper parts of the injured tissue. Focused shockwaves can reach a depth of up to 80mm. Radial shockwaves send a wider pattern of waves to a maximum depth of 40mm. They are used to treat injuries that are close to the surface and occupy a wider area. A qualified health practitioner should be able to diagnose your condition and prescribe the best course of treatment.
Shockwave treatment has shown positive results in cases that have proven unsuccessful with other treatments. It has been able to relieve serious pain as and regulate tissue regeneration. The number of treatments required will depend on how the body responds, though many times, it is done progressively.
You can get in touch with one of our therapists if you have further questions.