What is Shockwave Therapy?

Dr. Brian Harasha

By Dr. Brian Harasha

Most people know me as the ‘Laser Guy’, so why have I added shockwave therapy to my preferred modalities? To me, laser therapy is the king of promoting tissue healing, however, sometimes chronic issues and areas with lower blood flow are slow to respond. Even though special parameters used with a laser can up chronic issues, shockwave is faster and sometimes more effective. Shockwave shines at breaking up old adhesions (scar tissue), promoting the release of growth hormones and forming new blood vessels, thus improving blood flow.

Stubborn conditions like plantar fasciitis and neuropathy can be a practitioner’s worst nightmare, but studies show shockwave therapy is particularly good at overcoming these conditions. No wonder podiatrists became some of its earliest adopters. Chiropractors and physical therapists are utilizing shockwave for these conditions and have expanded its use for stubborn tendinitis issues, especially around the shoulder and elbow. 

Shockwave breaks up scar tissue, increases growth factors and improves blood flow. The device our practice uses is FDA approved to reduce muscle pain and aches, temporarily increase blood flow, and activate connective tissue. 

While the research is still relatively new, shockwave is showing great promise in the articles that are emerging. 

The conditions being studied most include:

Trigger points in the back, rotator cuff issues, calcific tendinitis of the shoulder, elbow tendinitis, carpal tunnel syndrome, trigger finger, hip pain, tibial stress syndrome, patellar tendinopathy, Osgood Schlatter’s, plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendinitis, and neuropathy.

One great aspect of shockwave therapy is how quickly it works. A shockwave session takes approximately 3-4 minutes per area treated, and people often see results in 4-6 sessions. It can be described as an ultrasound treatment on steroids. In the handpiece a small projectile is forced back and forth by air pressure, and when it hits the metal applicator a strong sound wave is transmitted to the treatment area. The specific properties of the soundwave are beneficial to the tissues being treated. It is advised that patients be aware of the possibility of discomfort during the treatment due to the strength of the soundwave.

We have seen amazing results with this treatment modality and look forward to helping you find relief from your chronic conditions.

You can learn more at: www.advancedlasertherapyandwellness.com or visit Dr. Harasha at Advanced Laser Therapy and Wellness, 2558 S. Brentwood Blvd., Brentwood, MO, 63130. 314-961-8940.