By Saunora Prom, DO, FAOASM
Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy (ESWT), also known as shockwave therapy, is a revolutionary treatment for upper and lower extremity tendinopathies, fasciopathies, and soft tissue conditions. First utilized in the 1980s for the treatment of urinary stones, this non-invasive and interventional therapy is now an effective form of treatment used to enhance the body’s natural healing processes for various sports-related or overuse injuries.
ESWT enhances tissue healing and adjusts pain signaling within the body. Often combined with Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) injections to create a synergistic effect, ESWT works by emitting acoustic shockwaves near damaged tissue. This process effectively disintegrates soft tissue calcifications, enhances collagen synthesis, and stimulates the healing process in the injured tissue. Furthermore, ESWT facilitates increased blood flow and the release of growth hormone to the targeted region.
This therapeutic modality is primarily used to treat common sports-related or overuse musculoskeletal conditions, including Achilles Tendinopathy, Plantar Fasciitis, bone stress injuries, joint pain, osteoarthritis, and tendonitis of the foot, hip, or shoulder, among others. ESWT is frequently administered to patients who fail to respond to a conservative treatment approach of ice, rest, and nonsteroidal medication.
Patients who have undergone ESWT have reported a significant reduction in pain and faster healing in some cases. ESWT is a viable alternative to invasive procedures such as injections and surgical interventions for some conditions. With no incisions or recovery time, it is no surprise that this procedure is a preferred form of treatment for many musculoskeletal conditions. A considerable number of patients have reported immediate relief and lasting results post-treatment.
If your patient is suffering from acute or chronic pain triggered by a musculoskeletal condition, ESWT could potentially provide a solution for alleviating their pain and getting them back to work and play faster.
Saunora Prom, DO, FAOASM is Board certified in Family Medicine and specializes in sports medicine at Tidewater Sports & Osteopathic Medicine with TPMG. mytpmg.com