Many Sports Clinics in Singapore, including PhysioActive (http://www.physioactive.sg/our-services/physiotherapy/shockwave-therapy/), provide Shockwave Therapy as one of their treatments for people who are suffering from certain sports injuries. Also, individuals who have pain in their soft tissues brought by certain severe ailments are also given this type of treatment. Read on to learn more about the pros and cons of shockwave therapy.
Shockwave Therapy, sometimes referred to as extracorporeal shockwave therapy, is a cutting-edge medical treatment. Depending on the location being treated, Shockwave Therapy has several names. It is a non-invasive treatment that promotes the body’s inherent ability to heal by using the energy from pulses or shockwaves. Moreover, it helps tendons, ligaments, and other soft tissues that have been injured heal faster and with less discomfort. Shockwave therapy is frequently combined with exercise, manual therapy, or other physiotherapy methods by medical professionals.
A small tool or equipment, frequently referred to as a shockwave device, is used by the medical practitioner (either a sports injury doctor or an athletic trainer under the supervision of a physician) to deliver shockwave therapy. The aforementioned hand-held device is used adjacent to the patient’s skin to administer shockwaves to the tissues that have been damaged. This increases blood flow and releases growth hormones, which promote the formation of new tissue. At any point during the therapy, the intensity (of the shockwaves delivered) can be adjusted as needed. For Shockwave Therapy, the majority of patients will need three to five therapy sessions, lasting anywhere between five and thirty minutes. The interval between sessions could range from five to ten days.
There are two types of shockwave therapy, which are as follows:
- Focused-the shockwaves are sent into a specific location during the therapy
- Radial-the shockwaves are dispersed over a larger area (example the length of a torn tendon
Although shockwave therapy is often painless, some people have complained of a slight discomfort while receiving the treatment. Discomfort levels may vary based on the patient, the injury, and whether the injured tissues are close to the bone, which is often more uncomfortable. A topical gel or lotion will be applied by the healthcare professional to the patient’s skin to help with any discomfort that may arise during the course of therapy. Normal completion of the therapy brings an end to the discomfort. Although it is generally safe to engage in weight-bearing activities after shockwave therapy, it is frequently suggested to limit all physical activity for two weeks at most after treatment.
Shockwave Therapy is often recommended to treat a variety of conditions such as the following:
- Osteoarthritis of the knee
- Golfer’s or tennis elbow
- Muscle tension caused by trigger points—painful muscular nodules
- Persistent back, shoulder, and neck pain
- Iliotibial band syndrome (ITBS)
- plantar fasciitis and heel pain
- Tibial stress syndrome (also known as shin splints)
- Pain from Achilles tendon injuries
- Jumper’s knee (also called patellar tendonitis)
- Shoulder discomfort from tendinitis, frozen shoulder, or shoulder calcification
Each patient has unique needs and treatment goals, therefore shockwave therapy might not be the ideal choice for all of them. To assist you better understand the procedure, the pros and cons of shockwave therapy are listed below:
The Pros of Shockwave Therapy:
- Non-invasive Treatment: Shockwave therapy is non-invasive, which means that, unlike with surgical procedures, no incisions (or cutting of the skin) will be done during the therapy. The shockwaves employed in treatment will be transmitted by making contact with the skin. Shockwave Therapy is a highly appealing alternative for some people who do not want surgery as a treatment for their injuries.
- Mostly Drug-Free: Administering Shockwave Therapy wouldn’t involve using any medication or drugs. Also, no medicine will be provided or prescribed for post-treatment recovery because shockwave therapy will, by itself, encourage the tissues’ natural healing process. While local anesthetic may occasionally be administered to ease discomfort during the procedure, Shockwave Therapy is typically painless. Additionally, if the patient feels uncomfortable, the intensity can be changed at any time while they are receiving therapy.
- Significantly Speeds-up the Healing Process: When usual conservative treatments such as stretching and orthotics fail to produce the desired effects, Shockwave Therapy is advised. Shockwave Therapy can frequently help the patients achieve better healing progress and finally get rid of the persistent pain (then surgery will be avoided).
- Minimal Downtime: Shockwave Therapy will require minimal downtime and the patient can go about his/her daily activity right after the session. No need to stay overnight at the medical facility after Shockwave Therapy, unlike most surgeries that would require the patient to stay for a night or more for observation post procedure.
- Safe Procedure: With minor side effects and with serious side effects occurring infrequently, Shockwave Therapy is considered very safe. Bruising, slight swelling, and pain within a few days of after treatment are typical minor side effects.
- Long-lasting effects: Shockwave therapy has been reported to give patients long-lasting pain relief. There are references that show that individuals with plantar fascia, elbow, and shoulder chronic tendinopathy reported no pain six months following treatment.
The Cons of Shockwave Therapy:
- Multiple Sessions: There may be a need for several therapy sessions, depending on the severity of the injury. A usual therapy course consists of two to three sessions, though it may be prolonged for more severe situations. The therapy won’t take long, but repeated sessions will call for the patients to make plans at work, for instance, which could be inconvenient, especially for those who have hectic daytime schedules.
- It is not for everybody: Shockwave therapy is a safe and generally painless procedure, however it is not advised for women who are expecting, people with cardiac issues or pacemakers, people having cancer, people who have severe untreated hypertension or those who are using blood thinners. Another reason one may not be given Shockwave Therapy is if they have neuropathy or hypersensitivity in the area to be treated. Open wounds and Shockwave Therapy also do not go together.
Before beginning any treatment, a consultation is conducted to ascertain the patient’s current state of health and medical background to best see if Shockwave Therapy is ideal. See your preferred medical professional for more guidance on Shockwave Therapy.
Camden Medical Centre #06-01 Singapore 248649
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160 Robinson Road, #05-03 SBF Center Singapore 068914
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