Many people have experienced major injuries that have a significant impact on their health and lifestyle, and which call for some kind of rehabilitation to recover their former good health. However, physical rehabilitation is quite often difficult and painful for someone obliged to go through it, especially when orthopedic therapy is involved. One option that has become quite helpful and popular among orthopedic specialists is called shockwave therapy.
This practice has also been taken up by physiotherapy doctors and sports medicine practitioners who are interested in passing on this new recovery procedure to their patients. It's a non-invasive treatment, that happens to also be one of the most cost-effective forms of treatment you can pursue. It also avoids the need for having to take opioids and potentially start a habit-forming routine with those medications. Below, you'll see personal information about shockwave therapy and what orthopedic specialists need to know about it, in order to use the practice successfully with their patients.
What is a Shockwave therapy?
Shockwave therapy is a form of treatment that's used to accomplish mobile rehabilitation, pain relief, and recovery from chronic pain or bodily injuries. The technique works by transmitting sound waves to soft tissues that have been stressed or injured, and it promotes the natural healing process while also increasing circulation. By stimulating nerve endings, a great deal of pain can be alleviated in most patients. Sometimes shockwave therapy is known by its other name, which is extracorporeal shockwave therapy, or ESWT. This is because it's a form of treatment that is used externally, rather than in any kind of internal application.
How shockwave therapy is commonly used
Shockwave therapy is used to treat a number of symptoms, because it's a multi-disciplinary device that is extremely versatile. The two main treatments will happen before anything else, and those serve to alleviate immediate pain by addressing damaged nerve endings. What comes next is stimulation of the natural healing process that occurs within your body. This will primarily target areas such as tendons, bones, and soft tissues which get encouraged to repair themselves by the shock waves. Here are some of the medical conditions which routinely call for shockwave therapy:
increased production of cells and new growth of cells
reduction of inflammation
improved blood flow and circulation
stimulation of new collagen production
breakdown of any buildup of calcium.
Of course, there are always cases where injuries might require more extensive measures, but that's true of all medical conditions. However, ESWT can definitely be used as at least one of several important components needed on the road to recovery. Many specialists and physicians are already using shockwave therapy as a kind of adjunctive therapy or as a replacement for some other type of therapy. As an example, a severe sports injury like tendonitis might actually require surgery in order for the pain to be fully addressed. However, it's very possible that shockwave therapy can be used as an adjunctive therapy to manage the pain just as well, and to streamline the entire healing process.
Who should take advantage of shockwave therapy?
Some of the primary areas of medicine in which shockwave therapy is most effectively used include veterinary applications, sports medicine, urology, physiotherapy, and orthopedics. Situations dealing with chronic musculoskeletal conditions are likewise really good candidates for shockwave therapy. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence fully endorses shockwave therapy for any issues related to tendon injuries. Patients who are suffering from some kind of tendinopathy will generally benefit from using ESWT, especially when they exhibit the following conditions:
iliotibial band syndrome
non-union stress fractures
retro calcaneal bursitis
greater trochanteric pain syndrome.
It happens quite often that patients like athletes don't find relief from other recovery treatments such as icing or physical therapy. When surgery is not a good candidate for such individuals, for instance if the athlete is in the middle of a sports season, shockwave therapy can be a very reasonable alternative. That means surgery can be put off until the end of the sports season, and in the meantime shockwave therapy can accomplish much of the recovery process right now.
How your patients can benefit from shockwave therapy
The results that your patients get from shockwave therapy can make a world of difference in the recovery process. Here are some of the main benefits provided by ESWT:
avoids using prescription drugs - there are some situations where prescription drugs or opioids may be needed, but it happens quite often that shockwave therapy is sufficient to accomplish recovery and rehabilitation.
non-invasive treatment - instead of having to deal with a difficult and possibly expensive surgical procedure, shockwave therapy can serve as one component of a treatment program, or as a standalone solution if the situation calls for it.
improved quality of life - this may be the most important benefit provided by shockwave therapy, because it can help a patient return to their preferred lifestyle without living under the threat of chronic pain. Athletes can stay involved with their sport, workers can resume their careers, and anyone else having to deal with chronic pain can experience significant relief and alleviation of pain.