Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy, or ESWT Treatment for short, is a noninvasive approach to treating pain and speeding up the healing process.
Though it’s been in use for longer than a decade in the United States, more and more doctors and their patients are turning to ESWT Treatment because of the wide variety of medical conditions it can treat and heal.
No one likes to deal with pain, whether from an injury, illness, or the types of soreness and achiness, as well as other conditions that come with being active in sports or the general aging process.
Unfortunately, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that a staggering number of Americans deal with chronic pain on a regular basis.
While most people might think their only choices are potentially addictive pain medications, risky and expensive surgical procedures, or even ignoring lingering pain, there are other treatment options.
What is Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy?
The word extracorporeal means “outside of the body.” So, extracorporeal shock wave therapy is completely noninvasive, meaning there is no recovery-related downtime like there is with invasive surgical procedures.
Sometimes referred to as simply Shockwave Therapy, ESWT treatment works by delivering impulse pressure waves or acoustic pressure waves deep into injured or inflamed tissue that is causing pain and discomfort.
An ESWT treatment procedure targets the damaged or injured area, increasing blood flow and circulation, and decreasing pain levels. This is a regenerative treatment that actually helps speed up the healing time during the process.
ESWT treatment sessions use a shockwave therapy machine, which incorporates a small wand for targeting the injured tissue and affected area of the body. Shockwave therapy sessions are painless and relatively short.
Most patients start seeing relief from pain, and notice increased mobility and other positive results with as few as one or two sessions.
Anyone is a candidate for shockwave therapy, especially those who have not seen positive results from rest, icing the affected areas, or modifying routine activities that might be causing pain or injuries.
What Conditions Can Be Treated with Shockwave Therapy?
Fortunately, this nonsurgical procedure is effective for treating both acute and chronic pain.
Acute pain happens quickly. It is generally caused by an injury and can range from mild to extremely severe.
Chronic pain is an enduring, long-term pain that can come from a previous injury, or may be caused by other medical conditions.
Despite the cause or type of discomfort, injury, or other difficult condition a person is experiencing, pain can have a negative impact on a person’s wellbeing, both physically and mentally.
Luckily for many people, there are wide variety of medical conditions that can be successfully treated using Shockwave Therapy.
Some common Shockwave Therapy treatable conditions include:
- Erectile Dysfunction (ED)
- Peyronie’s Disease
- Shoulder pain (Frozen Shoulder)
- Foot, ankle and heel pain (Plantar Fasciitis)
- Knee pain
- Hamstring pain
- Neck and back pain
- Hand and wrist pain
- Jaw pain (TMJ – Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction)
- Other sports-related injuries
- Tendonitis (tendinitis)
What are the Benefits of Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy?
In truth, there is no downside to shockwave therapy. In fact, studies show that with certain conditions it is up to 90 percent effective with little to no complications.
As a non-surgical, non-invasive procedure, there is no need for anesthesia or any lengthy or expensive recovery time in the hospital. Because it’s non-invasive, there is no scarring, as is the case with some surgical procedures, nor is there any risk of infection.
ESWT is done completely as an outpatient procedure that can be scheduled ahead of time, so there’s no lost time at work, school or, for athletes, lost training time.
In fact, shock wave therapy speeds up healing in a way that makes the procedure an excellent choice for essential workers that cannot afford to miss work, or for athletes who need to recover from any injury while still performing at a high level.
ESWT Treatment Benefits include:
- Reduced downtime compared to other treatments
- Non-invasive therapy procedure
- No anesthesia is required
- Non-surgical so there is no risk of infection
- No scarring
- Faster healing than other types of treatment
- Cost effective
Shockwave Therapy for Urological and Musculoskeletal Conditions
Shockwave Therapy was historically used for lithotripsy as a medical procedure to break up kidney stones and gallstones.
It was so effective that its use spread to urological therapies such as treating erectile dysfunction, and also many types of musculoskeletal conditions.
ESWT Treatment for Erectile Dysfunction
In the case of erectile dysfunction, one of the most common treatments is through the use of medications like Viagra, and others. But these forms of medication treatments are temporary and only last for several hours at a time, and serve as a short-term fix for the symptoms and not the causes.
Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy for erectile dysfunction treats the cause of the problem, as well as the symptoms, so it is a long-lasting way to correct the condition.
ESWT breaks down plaque that decreases blood flow and triggers the body’s natural healing response. Diminished blood flow is one of the primary causes of many ED conditions, and shockwave therapy helps to correct this by removing the need for drugs or pumps to improve sexual function.
Shockwave Therapy for Musculoskeletal Conditions
In addition to erectile dysfunction, Shockwave Therapy is now being widely used by chiropractors, podiatrists, sports medicine doctors, and therapists for treating injuries and healing pain caused by musculoskeletal conditions.
Many college and professional sports teams have realized the advantages of having athletes heal faster, and many times continuing to play while undergoing ESWT treatment.
Doctors and therapists in private practice have also recognized that their patients heal faster and return to work more quickly using Shockwave Therapy than with other traditional treatment therapies.
Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy at Home Machine
Fortunately for people dealing with chronic or acute pain, and even certain forms of erectile dysfunction, Shockwave Therapy is now available as solution for home use.
STORZ Medical is the leading manufacturer of Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy devices for medical professionals and sports medicine doctors. They offer a number of devices and accessories that are well suited for many different types of applications.
The STORZ Masterpuls One Shockwave Therapy machine is an at home device that can be purchased by anyone for use in their own home.
The Masterpuls One offers the same technology used by college and professional sports teams and clinics around the world.
It is a compact unit that is portable and can be used at home and even while traveling to ensure treatment sessions are not interrupted while on vacation or away on business.
Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy could be the wave of the future for addressing pain and treating injuries.