Radial Pulse Wave (Shockwave) Therapy
WHAT IS "RADIAL SHOCKWAVE THERAPY"?
therapy is an extremely effective and non-invasive solution to pain
associated with musculoskeletal system. It delivers a series of
high-energy percussions to the area being treated. These are NOT
electric shocks, but physical/mechanical pulses that will travel
through the tissue being treated.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
of treatment, being relatively new, is still being researched. It has
been in use in Europe for many years with very successful clinical
results in treating various forms of musculoskeletal conditions.
Although various theories exist, the following seems most probable:
Shockwave delivers thousands of high energy
percussions to the affected tissue in the region of treatment,
typically "the painful area". These impulses are thought to cause scar
tissue and calcific fibroblasts to break down and this in turn provokes
metabolic activity and an inflammatory response which promotes and
WHAT ARE THE PHYSIOLOGICAL EFFECTS?
Shockwave is believed, and has clinically shown, to have the following effects:
1. Eliminate pain
2. Facilitate healing
3. Improve local microcirculation leading to improved tissue metabolism
4. Increase production of collagen
5. Reduce local muscle tension
6. Help dissolve calcific fibroblasts
7. Stimulate the "washing away" of Substance-P (a pain producing chemical)
WHAT ARE SOME OF THE BENEFITS?
therapy can be used without the use of X-rays or drugs; although the
diagnostic process and or previous treatments may have already included
these. It is thought to stimulate the body's own healing ability. In
many instances there can be an immediate reduction of pain as well as
improved mobility and improved function. It is non-invasive and there
is no need for anesthesia. There are minor secondary effects following
treatment, generally some soreness that will dissipate in a short
amount of time.
MOST COMMON CONDITIONS OR DIAGNOSES TREATED WITH SHOCKWAVE
HOW LONG DOES EACH TREATMENT TAKE TO ADMINISTER?
session of treatment will take approximately 5-10 minutes. During this
time 2000 to 3000 pulse waves are delivered into the area being
treated. Approximately 2000 shocks are delivered lasting around 5
minutes. 3-5 treatments are needed with 5-10 days between treatments.
HOW MANY TREATMENTS ARE NEEDED AND HOW OFTEN?
conditions require 3 to 5 sessions. The treatments are done 5-10 days
apart depending upon patient tolerance and tissue response.
WHAT IS THE SUCCESS RATE OF SHOCKWAVE TREATMENT?
worldwide reported rate of clinical success with Shockwave therapy is
between 77%-80%. Our patients have reported successful results in line
with these same parameters. For those who do not respond favorably to
the treatment, other modes of therapy and treatment should be
considered and proper referrals will be made to the appropriate
DOES THE TREATMENT HURT?
upon the level of pain the patient is already experiencing in the area,
there may be some discomfort during each treatment. However, most
patients are able to tolerate the treatments very well since it only
lasts for about 5 minutes. Also, the intensity of the treatment can be
adjusted to allow for some analgesic effect in the beginning of each
WILL THERE BE PAIN AFTER THE TREATMENT?
patients will experience immediate relief of pain following the
treatment. However, within 2-4 hours they may experience soreness in
the area. The soreness has been reported as being very tolerable and
may last a few hours to several days. If you should experience this
soreness, DO NOT use ice on the area. Since one of the desired effects
of Shockwave treatments is an "inflammatory response"; use of
anti-inflammatory medications (such as Ibuprophen, Motrin, Aleve,
Advil, etc.) is not recommended. Most patients have reported very good
results with Tylenol. You may choose to take medication as you see fit or based upon your Medical physicians recommendation and guidance. The soreness is typically gone within 4-24 hours without any form of intervention.
WHAT ABOUT "PHYSICAL ACTIVITY" vs. "REST" FOLLOWING THE TREATMENT?
is recommended that you refrain from physical activity, especially the
ones that would involve the treated region for 48 hours following each
ARE THERE ANY PRECAUTIONS OR CONTRAINDICATIONS TO SHOCKWAVE THERAPY?
YES. General contraindications and/or precautions include:
Cortisone injections within one month prior to the start of Shockwave treatment
Blood thinning medications such as Coumadin or Heparin
Heart or circulatory problems
Cancer in or around the treatment area
- Nerve or blood supply being too close to the site of treatment
WHAT IS THE COST OF THE TREATMENT?
Our clinic charges $50 per area treated per session for Shockwave therapy.
DOES INSURANCE COVER THE TREATMENTS?
This is NOT an "insurance-covered" service and all treatment sessions must be paid for by the patient.