Pain and functional challenges, whether related to movement or physical functioning, are two of the primary reasons patients see us. We love helping our patients experience freedom of movement and restored functioning. Shockwave therapy using our Dolorclast ® machine is one of our most popular treatments.

What Is Shockwave Therapy?

Shockwave therapy involves aiming a rapidly-pulsing high-energy beam at an area of the body that needs treatment. These sessions typically take around half an hour and include aiming a series of 5-100MPa pulses at the targeted area. Each of these pulses only lasts 10 milliseconds but provides lasting cellular effects.

This treatment is very attractive to many of our patients because it involves minimal discomfort and no downtime. We enjoy using shockwave therapy because of the results it gets for our patients. The following overview of current research will help you decide if you want to investigate this treatment further.

Benefit 1: Calms Tennis Elbow Pain

Despite the name, tennis elbow can happen to anyone who routinely engages in repetitive elbow motion for their profession or other daily activities. The pain of this condition typically occurs in the outside area of the elbow and stems from an overburdened elbow tendon.

Since freely moving elbows are necessary for properly functioning hands and forearms, any issue with an elbow causes major disruption to your everyday life. Properly working elbows are essential for every body part located further from the body along the arm, such as the forearms, wrists, hands, and fingers. Overcompensating for a painful or difficult-to-move elbow can cause shoulder and upper back injuries as well as changes to your posture while sitting, standing, or moving.

Even if you’ve only had tennis elbow for a short time, it can cause quite a bit of interference to your life and noticeably reduce the quality of your life. After all, who wants to live in chronic pain and with limited mobility, carefully moving to shield a problematic elbow from further injury?

Many of our patients report that they’ve tried corticosteroid injections or prescription painkillers before coming to us. Although these reduce swelling and diminish pain, they eventually wear off. Shockwave therapy, however, targets the reason behind the pain. Once the underlying cause is treated, you don’t need to continually take medications to mask your symptoms.

In fact, a recent study revealed that shockwave therapy outperforms other common pain treatments. This study focused on improvements such as restored grip strength and reduced pain intensity. This means that shockwave therapy helped patients to regain function in their hands that had been impacted by tennis elbow. Since they had less pain after treatment with shockwave therapy versus other therapy options, they were able to enjoy the benefits of gentle movement sooner.

Benefit 2: Reduces Urinary Incontinence

Whether you’re male or female, urinary incontinence can become very disruptive to your daily life. Incontinence pads, briefs, and other related products are another item to add to your workbag or stock up on at the store. Washable or disposable incontinence pads on beds, chairs, and other furniture also require additional effort to replace or maintain. If you drive, protecting your car seat from accidental urine leakage can also be an issue.

Urinary incontinence isn’t just about the extra effort or expense it causes you. It’s about your health and your time. If left on your skin, urine can be very irritating and can even lead to skin breakdown. Since urine can be so irritating to your skin, the more frequent and thorough cleansing requires extra time during each bathroom trip at work or at home. Sometimes, unfortunately, such hygiene can be challenging to perform in small and poorly lit restroom stalls.

Poor personal hygiene does more than cause additional odor or discomfort. It can worsen skin breakdown, such as bedsores or pressure injuries. Since your skin is one of your immune system’s first lines of defense, any weakened or wounded area is an entryway for infection.

Elsewhere on our site, we’ve already spoken about pelvic floor dysfunction and the results that we can get our female patients. This includes decreased urinary incontinence. We want you to know that, although many people don’t focus on it as much, shockwave therapy is a viable option for men with urinary incontinence as well. A recent study showed that adding shockwave therapy to treatment for men who have had their prostate glands removed significantly reduced their urinary incontinence. This therapy also encouraged the growth of new blood vessels and boosted circulation in the area.

Benefit 3: Soothes Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis can make getting out of bed in the morning a Herculean effort. When the plantar fascia or tissue band connecting your heel to your toes is inflamed, it causes a stabbing sensation. Although this pain gets better after moving for a bit, it can come back to haunt you if you work at a job that requires you to stand at a workstation or sit at a desk for long periods of time.

Since plantar fasciitis has such a profound impact on walking, we’re going to explain a bit about some of the essential characteristics of walking. When you walk, your form is important, but so is your speed. You lead a busy life and need to keep up with the demands of work, family, and fun. Fortunately, recent research has shown that shockwave therapy increases walking cadence or the number of steps you can walk in a minute. Better cadence is a form of improved walking performance due to better foot function.

Benefit 4: Eases Post-Stroke Stiffness

If you or a loved one has had a stroke or brain attack, you know that it can have a significant impact on their daily life. Strokes most commonly occur when a clot blocks blood flow to the brain. This results in damage or death to portions of the brain that can make several life activities more difficult. These include:

  • Movement
  • Eating
  • Remembering
  • Regulating emotions
  • Controlling the bowel or bladder

One of the more common conditions that you might live with as a stroke survivor is spasticity. Spasticity is painful and excessive muscle tone or stiffness that can make it difficult to speak or move. Upper body spasticity has a major impact on daily activities involving the arms, wrists, hands, and fingers. In addition to individuals living with issues stemming from a stroke, persons living with brain injury, cerebral palsy, and multiple sclerosis also experience this form of spasticity.

Frequently, individuals with this spasticity are treated with Botulinum Toxin Type A. This neurotoxin is used to relax the muscles responsible for the spasticity selectively. Unfortunately, there is no way to confine its effectiveness to the treatment area. It also can cause allergic reactions, difficulty swallowing, and muscle weakness.

Fortunately, recent research has shown that shockwave therapy can improve post-stroke motor function, balance, sensation, and joint function, as well as botulinum treatment. In fact, shockwave provided more gains in passive range of motion and functioning of the wrist and elbow than Botulinum Toxin Type A injections.

Benefit 5: Relief for Knee Pain

Like elbow issues, any problem with your knees affects function and feeling in various areas. When your knees are in pain, walking or even sitting can become difficult. Since many of the foot nerves need to run past your knee, alterations in your knee bones can impinge on nerves causing additional pain and reduced calf, ankle, foot, and toe function. Problems resulting from faulty knees also affect the hip, back, and upper body, changing the way you move and the way messages move between your brain and the rest of your body.

Osteoarthritis is a common cause of knee pain. This form of arthritis is also known as “wear-and-tear” arthritis because it happens when the cartilage inside the joint wears down. This can lead to painful and damaging bone-on-bone contact.

If you have knee osteoarthritis, we have good news. A scientific study found that shockwave therapy reduced pain and improved knee function in those with mild to moderate symptoms.

Start Benefitting From Shockwave Therapy

If you’ve enjoyed this sample of the latest research and would like to learn more about shockwave therapy, please give us a call at (303) 455-2225 or contact us using our online contact form. We’ll be glad to answer your questions and schedule a shockwave therapy consultation for you.