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How Can Shockwave Therapy Speed Up Injury Recovery?

Thu Apr 6

Shockwave therapy is a novel, cutting-edge technology tool used in orthopedics, physical therapy, and sports medicine that quickly relieves pain and restores mobility by directing high-energy sound waves into wounded body tissues. These waves activate the body’s natural healing process by increasing blood flow to the area and encouraging the development of new blood vessels. 

It is an ideal therapy to hasten recovery and treat injuries causing acute or chronic pain because we can concentrate these shock waves on specific tissues deep within the body. You can understand shockwave therapy and the conditions it treats, right from tendon injuries, to plantar fasciitis and torn rotator cuffs.

Defining shockwave therapy

Extracorporeal shockwave therapy uses a transmitter that deeply penetrates injured or inflamed tissue with acoustic waves. These waves’ vibrations trigger a healing response by alerting your body to send blood and growth hormones to the injured area. 

These growth factors can alleviate discomfort, hastening to heal and enhancing mobility as stiffness subsides. ESWT works with kinetic energy, which can help dissolve calcium deposits to stop irritation brought on by calcification.

How does it work?

Blood vessel formation

Nutrient blood flow is required for damaged tissue to begin and continue to heal. Tiny capillary regrowth results when acoustic waves treat damaged tendons, ligaments, bones, and muscles.

Stimulation of collagen production

The atomic units of the body are collagen cells. The mechanisms for repairing the damaged musculoskeletal and ligamentous tissues require sufficient collagen to be produced as a prerequisite. The regeneration of new collagen cells in the injured area is sped up by shockwave therapy.

Reverses chronic inflammation

One of the essential elements of the inflammatory process is mast cells. The use of focused sound waves may increase their activity.

Dissolution of calcified fibroblasts

Scar tissue is produced during the healing process of all wounds. A substance called fibrinogen is released when the body is wounded, and it urges cells called fibroblasts to begin forming scar tissue. Sometimes, this process can also result in calcium deposits that aren’t normal in the healing tissues. 

The most frequent cause of calcium build-up in tendons is microtears or other types of tendon damage. The calcium deposits are broken up by acoustic waves (similar to how lithotripsy can break up kidney stones).

Releasing the trigger points 

The main source of discomfort in the back, neck, shoulder, and limbs is trigger points. Focused, high-intensity sound waves can release trigger points and open up the pathways leading to muscle spasms. They can also reverse metabolic congestion in the muscle fibers.

What conditions can be cured with shockwave therapy?

Jumper’s knee 

Even though this sounds like an athletic injury, patients of all ages can experience it. An inflammation or injury to the patellar tendon results in a jumper’s knee, characterized by pain, tenderness, and functional deficit. Regardless of age, this illness can hinder everyday tasks and leisure time and is challenging to treat.

Tennis elbow 

From 1% to 3% of people in the general population suffer from tennis elbow, a common condition. Epicondylitis can be treated conservatively, but it can take a long time and often involves stopping all activities for extended periods while taking medication (painkillers, steroid injections, etc.). 

On the other hand, Shockwave therapy has an efficiency of over 50% to 72% in three to five treatments and provides relatively quick pain relief.

Muscle tendon pain

Pain at the point where a muscle joins to a bone frequently results from actions that repeatedly strain the tissues and lead to pain and inflammation. A focused Shock Wave can be used to target these particular tissues and heal the wound without the use of drugs or injections.

Joint pain

The cartilage may deteriorate or suffer damage with time and usage. It is possible for the tendons and muscles that surround the joint to become overworked, inflamed, or incapable of performing their normal functions. A fall or other accident can cause degenerated, unsupported bone to crack or fracture. 

Any of these ailments can cause joint pain and additional harm. Focused shock waves can deeply penetrate injured tissues, increasing blood flow and promoting the development of new blood vessels. No other form of therapy has been clinically proven to promote the development of blood vessels, which are crucial for healing.

Shockwave therapy aftercare 

We, at The Port Physiotherapy and Massage in Calgary of a comprehensive rehabilitation program that begins after finishing shockwave therapy in Calgary. To get the most out of the entire procedure, this is done. 

After receiving shockwave therapy, two days of rest are advised. The efficacy of the therapy is improved because of this break. It is acceptable to carry out regular activities during this 48-hour window but avoid aggravating ones like jumping, running, hopping, or anything athletic that could put the treated area under stress.

Stay away from non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and refrain from applying ice to the area that has been treated. 

Concerning the treatment’s side effects, the medical professionals administering the shockwaves will always review your medical history before the procedure to predict how your body may respond.