What is Shockwave Therapy?

by | Mar 15, 2017

We know, we know—the name sounds like something out of a science fiction TV show. “Extracorporeal shockwave therapy … isn’t that how Dr. Crusher managed to counteract that Romulan virus in season 4?”

In fact, extracorporeal shockwave therapy (ESWT) is very real, and a tool we use often in our Ebensburg, PA office to help patients with chronic foot pain that they just haven’t been able to overcome. And although it isn’t science fiction, the technology is still pretty cool!

The device is powered by a generator that initiates electrical charges into a reflective water chamber. This sends high-amplitude pulses of mechanical energy—very similar to soundwaves—through an attached cable and, ultimately, a hand-held applicator and into your skin and deeper muscle and connective tissues.

These pulses have a dramatic impact on cellular function at the site of your pain or injury. Essentially what happens is that the pulses create “microtrauma” in the cells, which kick-starts their metabolism and increases your body’s natural healing responses. There are multiple benefits, including stimulation of new blood vessels, improved circulation, more oxygen to the injury, better waste filtration, and more. Ultimately, that means less pain, less swelling, and quicker rehabilitation times.

Better yet, ESWT has no known serious side effects. At the very worst you may sustain very slight bruising or aches, but these tend to quickly dissipate.

The technology is especially great for patients who’ve been struggling with general pain or a lingering injury that just doesn’t respond to other forms of conservative care. In the past, surgery may have been the only remaining option for ongoing chronic pain, but now a significant majority of these most-stubborn cases can now be resolved without invasive procedures.

To find out more about ESWT and see if it’s the right solution for your nagging foot pain, please call Premier Podiatry Group today at (814) 472-2660.