What is Shockwave Therapy?
Despite its name, shockwave therapy does not actually give you electric shocks. Instead, it applies mechanical rather than electrical energy. The device is like a smaller, very-low powered jackhammer. The head of the shockwave device creates areas of high pressure at a high rate, followed by areas of low pressure. This then results in the dissolving and re-formation of gas bubbles that were already in the tissue (called “cavitation”) to essentially massage the tissue’s cell walls.
The goal is to release chemicals that help reboot your tissue’s healing process. The micro-massage results in:
What does Shockwave Therapy Feel Like?
Most patients report the sensation of light to moderate tapping with a numbing effect afterwards. Through the treatment, the intensity can be adjusted as required, increasing or decreasing in intensity.
Isn’t Shockwave Used for Kidney Stones? Is it Dangerous?
In general, there are 2 types of Shockwave devices:
- Focused or Hard Shockwave – which is more intense and used to break up kidney stones, typically found only at hospitals. We do not use this.
- Radial/Diffused or Soft Shockwave– which we use at Thrive Now. Ours provides a safe and comfortable treatment of a variety of musculoskeletal conditions.
Does it have any Side Effects?
The most common side effect after treatment is mild soreness and numbness that can last up to 1-2 days after the treatment. Bruising occasionally can occur.
Conditions Shockwave Therapy Can Address
Shockwave therapy has been shown to be effective for chronic or stubborn tendonitis’ and tendinopathies such as:
Shockwave therapy is not normally used with patients who have bleeding disorders (ie. on anticoagulant therapy or hemophilia), cement implants, local infection, open wounds, and cancer. Your physiotherapist will assess and determine if you can safely use this treatment!
If you live in Cowichan Valley and feel shockwave therapy could be right for you, book your assessment today at Thrive Now!