What is Shockwave Therapy?

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Dr. Trever Wilkins, DO
Medical Director

As humans, we tend to repeat movements over and over. Whether you're an athlete hitting your heel against the road when running or you work a desk job, typing all day, every day. Unfortunately, these repetitive movements put stress on the tendons, which can lead to tendon injuries. If you have ever experienced something similar to this, you may have tried icing, taking medication, or even wearing a brace. The term shockwave therapy may be unfamiliar to you, and it also might sound a little intimidating. I'm going to get into what it is, how it can be beneficial with these common tendon injuries, and reassure any fears you may have regarding this treatment.

What is shockwave therapy?

Shockwave therapy is a non-invasive treatment used to treat musculoskeletal conditions. Gel is first placed on the skin of the targeted injured area. The physician or qualified health professional then takes the probe of the shockwave device to the skin to help conduct the shock waves. The device sends high or low acoustic shock waves into the bone or soft tissue, which re-injures the area on a cellular level by breaking up tendon and ligament scarring to generate healing.

Who does shockwave therapy benefit?

Shockwave therapy is beneficial for anyone affected by tendinopathy throughout the musculoskeletal system, especially those with tendonitis and plantar fasciitis. Other conditions shockwave therapy is effective for include:

  • calcific tendonitis
  • achilles tendonopathy
  • heel spurs
  • retrocalcaneal bursitis
  • tennis elbow
  • golfer's elbow
  • jumper's knee
  • Morton's neuroma
  • stress fractures
  • osteochondritis

How often should you do shockwave therapy?

Most patients need three to five sessions to begin feeling significant pain relief. Each session should be a week apart. Patients tend to feel significant pain relief approximately six to eight weeks after their treatment.

Why does shockwave therapy hurt?

Shock waves cause micro-traumas, which are injuries that come from repetitive stress to tissues, and bursting of bones, tendons, and muscles to promote blood flow and stimulate cell reconstruction. This trauma and recovering tissues are responsible for the pain. However, this is all a part of the healing process and the pain will only last for a day or two.

Is shockwave therapy safe?

Yes. Shockwave therapy is safe, non-invasive, and low cost. However, those who are pregnant, have a blood clotting disorder, taking oral anti-coagulants, have received a steroid injection within six weeks, have a pacemaker fitted, or have tumors present at the treatment site should not use shockwave therapy.

Trusted Shockwave Therapy Practitioners in Eastern Arizona

Find the shockwave therapy treatment that’s best for you with the help of friendly medical professionals. Optimize You hosts some of the best shockwave therapy practitioners in Arizona.

If you’re curious about shockwave therapy, we recommend you book an appointment with our experts. That way, you can gain in-depth knowledge about the practice and feel comfortable getting a procedure simultaneously. Education and knowledge are part of the process toward becoming a healthier you.

*Disclaimer: Please note shockwave therapy results may vary. The health results claimed on our site are based on medical studies and also individual results. However, these examples may not be applicable and/or typical to all patients of Optimize You Performance Medicine.

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