Shockwave therapy is a device used in orthopedics, physiotherapy, sports medicine, urology and veterinary medicine. Its main assets are fast pain relief and mobility restoration. Together with being a non-surgical therapy, with no need for painkillers, makes it an ideal therapy to speed up recovery and cure various indications causing acute or chronic pain.
The Food and Drug Administration has approved the use of Shockwave for the treatment of plantar fasciopathy. However, Dr. Cottom notes that multiple high-quality randomized clinical trials have provided substantial evidence that Shockwave therapy is a safe and effective noninvasive option for treating tendinopathy throughout the musculoskeletal system.
Dr. Cottom is currently using this technology to treat chronic, recalcitrant tendinopathy throughout the body. We have found this therapy beneficial for treating the following areas of tendinopathy:
Using acoustic pressure waves, damaged tissue can be stimulated to enhance metabolism, blood and lymph circulation, induce vasodilation and neo-angiogenesis, and break down adhesions and scar tissue, thereby accelerating the healing process. Damaged tissue gradually regenerates and heals.
Benefits of Shockwave Therapy:
The beneficial effects of Shockwave Therapy are often experienced early on. Some patients report immediate improvement after the treatment, although it can take up to 4 weeks for pain relief to begin. The full benefit of the treatment occurs over 12 weeks. Because this treatment effects healing at the cellular level, complete regeneration doesn’t occur immediately. Improvements are achieved in the medium to long-term. After the full course of treatment, over 80% of patients treated report to be pain free and/or have significant improvement!
Treatment is performed in the exam room, with no anesthesia required. After determining the specific areas of pain, the provider will use a handpiece which transmits acoustic energy to perform a series of 3 different treatments of varying pressures over the affected area. Based on your response, the treatment intensity will be gradually titrated up into the therapeutic range.
Treatment consists of a minimum of three sessions, 5-7 days apart. Your first session takes approximately 15 minutes, and subsequent sessions last approximately 10 minutes. Over half of patients require a 5th and 6th treatment. The longer a patient has been suffering from pain, the more treatments that may be needed.
Insurance typically does not cover the cost of this therapy however, the treatment is an eligible expense under your Health Savings Account (HSA) or Flexible Spending Account (FSA).