NKC Blog - Shockwave therapy | The benefits are SHOCKING
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Shockwave therapy | The benefits are SHOCKING

It is a multidisciplinary device used in physiotherapy, orthopaedics, veterinary medicine, sports medicine and more. Acting as a revolutionary alternative to non-surgical therapy, Shockwave therapy has gained a ton of popularity over the last couple of years. It works towards restoring mobility and providing quick pain relief.


How does it function?

An acoustic wave – the shockwave, is transferred to painful spots and myoskeletal tissues with subacute, subchronic and chronic conditions. It carries high energy that is said to initiate and promoted reparative and regenerative processes of the bones, tissues, tendons or other affected areas. Various conditions like tendonitis, shin splints, muscle tightness, tennis elbow etc., make use of this therapy, to help manage and reduce their pain.


What are the types of Shockwave therapy?

There are two types of Shockwave therapy:


  • Focused Shockwave Therapy – In this type, the focal point is smaller and its accuracy is higher. It penetrates up to 12 cm deep and delivers the impulse to a precise area. This is the perfect therapy for targeting tissues at a deeper level, such as close to the bone. It can be used to heal conditions like calcifications.


  • Radial Shockwave Therapy – This type of therapy is more common, the depth of this treatment is around 3-4 cm, it is used to treat larger areas, and it has a lower energy density. It works best for treating conditions where the targeted tissue is superficial e.g., Achilles tendon, tennis elbow etc.


What is the process?

Shockwave therapy is non-invasive, and hence the treatment is straightforward. It consists of three steps:


1st – Localizing the area that requires treatment and using palpation to make sure the therapy is delivered precisely.


2nd – An adequate amount of gel is applied to the localized area since the waves must transfer smoothly without any hindrance.


3rd – Therapy is then initiated by pushing the applicator firmly against the affected area and pressing the start button.


 Results from this therapy usually show up soon, but in some cases, it might take over a few sessions of treatment to start seeing a substantial change.


What are the benefits? 

  • Reversal of Chronic Inflammation: Activity of the mast cells is stimulated to increase after using pervasive acoustic waves on them to reduce inflammation.


  • Stimulating Collagen Production: Collagen is a vital element for the repairment of ligamentous structure. Shockwave therapy helps in its synthesizing process.


  • Release of Trigger Points: The leading causes behind the pain in one’s back, neck, shoulders and limbs are the trigger points that induce it. When acoustic waves are delivered, it causes the energy to unblock, releasing these trigger points.


  • New Blood Vessel Formation: Proper blood flow is necessary to start and maintain repairment of damaged tissues. When shockwave therapy is used, there are capillary micro-ruptures created in tendon and bone.


Shockwave therapy is an evolving realm, and even then, studies have proven how effective and accurate it can be. If this is something you want to try for yourself, make sure to consult your general physician beforehand.


Yours in self-care,

Adrian Wilk

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