At Family First, we are always looking for new ways and new tools to help our patients get their issues corrected. Which is why we are excited to announce that we have recently added a new therapy to our clinic! This new therapy is something we call, “shockwave”. It goes by a few other names, but one of the most common is Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy or ESWT for short. You may have heard of this before, or you may not have. You may even have some questions about what it is and what it is good for.
WHAT IS SHOCKWAVE?
Shockwave is a therapy that uses sound waves to make changes happen inside of the body. Sound waves like ultrasound. It uses an electrical charge to send a small piece of metal that is in the unit down the tube. Once it hits the end of the tube, that wave then travels into the body to break things up. What that feels like for the person getting it done is a strong tap. For some people it can be tender, but for most people it is quite comfortable. The best part is when you go to use that area after the treatment and notice that it feels much better than it did before.
WHAT IS IT DOING TO THE PERSON?
It’s moving that sound wave into the person getting the shockwave treatment. That sound wave does a few things once it is inside the body. The main thing being that it hits scar tissue and breaks it up. That scar tissue can cause problems with how things are working and even causing tightness/pain. Think about having a big knot in one of your muscles that just won’t go away. The shockwave is going to break that up and give it a chance to heal back properly, which is the other great effect of this therapy. It can stimulate healing in injuries that are recent or lingering issues.
WHAT ARE THE COMMON SIDE EFFECTS?
Shockwave is a safe therapy that doesn’t require any drugs or invasive procedures, so the side effects tend to be minimal. Most common is short-lived tissue pain, minor swelling, and possibly bruising.
Even with how safe shockwave is, it may not be the best fit for you depending on your health history and what prescription medications you may take. For example, it isn’t recommended for people with a pacemaker, that take anti-coagulants, have had a recent steroid injection, or that could have tumors in the treatment area.
If you’re interested in shockwave therapy, ask one of your doctors at Family First Wellness Center about it! We will determine if it is a good option for you and your treatment specifically.