What is Shockwave Therapy
Shockwave Therapy is a non-invasive treatment that can speed the healing of many types of orthopedic and soft tissue injuries and conditions. It has been used in Europe in human medicine to treat tennis elbow, plantar fascitis (heel pain), rotator cuff injuries, calcifying tendonitis of the shoulder, femoral head necrosis (hip degeneration), non-union fractures, wounds, burns, osteomyelitis (infection of the bone) with draining tracts, and myofascial pain to name a few. New research has shown potential applications in treating periodontal disease, infected wounds, and to help speed fracture healing and reduce the incidence of non-union fractures. It has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for use in people to treat plantar fascitis and tennis elbow that fail to respond to six months of conventional therapy.
Shockwave therapy has been used in the U.S. in veterinary medicine for approximately nine years. It has been used successfully to treat animals with both acute and chronic soft tissue injuries, bone and joint disease, and back pain.
WHAT IS SHOCKWAVE?
A shockwave is a pressure wave – any action that displaces its surrounding medium is a shockwave. The ripple created when a stone is thrown into a pond is a shockwave. The shockwaves used in equine medicine are generated in a fluid medium inside a transducer head and are then transmitted readily through skin, fat, and muscle. The high energy waves are focused within the transducer head so that the shockwave can be directed to the precise area of the injury. When shockwaves hit an area of higher acoustic impedance, such as bone, the waves slow dramatically and a large amount of energy is released into the surrounding tissue.
WHAT CAN SHOCKWAVE THERAPY DO?
Shockwave therapy has been shown to:
• Stimulate new bone growth
• Increase cell permeability and stimulate the release of a cascade of healing and growth factors that contribute to the healing process
• Stimulate stem cells in the animal’s body to be directed to the treated area
• Cause neovascularization (ingrowth of new blood vessels)
• Possibly stimulate fibroblasts, the cells that generate new connective tissue
Shockwave therapy has been successfully used to treat many soft tissue and bony problems, both acute and chronic. These include, but are not limited to:
• Suspensory ligament tears and strains
• Suspensory injuries with avulsion fractures
• Tendon tears and strains
• Collateral ligament injuries
• Navicular syndrome
• Joint inflammation and pain
• Back pain
• Neck pain
• Muscle tears and strains
• Repair ligament injuries
• Infected or large wounds