Often, it seems that medicine is a science which revolves around the discoveries of completely new treatment methods and other relevant factors. But, at the same time, it is equally focused on the further development of the existing methods which can be used in new, more effective ways. The use of shock waves in the perfect example of this idea and it brilliantly represents a treatment method that was successfully used in one medical field for decades, before it made the transition to another area of medicine, where it is currently equally effective.
What are Shockwaves Used For?
Today, shockwave therapy is widely used for the purpose of rehabilitation and pain therapy, especially in the area of orthopedic issues involving damage to the tendons, including Achilles tendons and many others. The name of this therapy comes from the process of sending shockwave energy generated from mechanical pressure pulses that are created by a specialized medical device and then sent into the body, where they reverberate and expand through the tissue. It was first used as a method of dissolving stones that form in the kidneys without the use of surgical intervention; currently almost 99% of all kidney stones are eradicated through the use of this therapy. But, in the early 1990’s, it was noticed that the same approach had a beneficial effect on painful areas in the body, mainly joints and other places which were prone to chronic pain and discomfort.
How Does this Therapy Work?
The mechanism of using shockwave has been thoroughly documented in several different branches of medicine, including the field of rehabilitation. The procedure includes a probe that is pressed on the area that is affected by the illness or injury, along with a gel-like substance that is used to facilitate the pulses. The therapy itself begins with pulses of shockwave energy being transmitted through the skin. The procedure the generates radial shockwaves that then trigger an inflammation-like mechanism, which promotes the healing of the same part of the body by increasing blood circulation, the number and vascularization of the blood vessels and other factors which speed up the recovery of the affected area. The procedure itself does not include any anesthetic or sedation and will increase in intensity up to the patient’s pain threshold, but will not go over it. Addtional information can be found at Shockwavetherapy.org.
Today, the same therapy found its place in the treatment of conditions like golfers elbow, plantar fasciitis, and tennis elbow, naming just a few. With it, anyone has a lot better chance of finding a long-term medical solution to their condition, illness or injury.