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Shockwave Therapy: A Game-Changer for Athletic Injuries

Updated: Jun 20

In the realm of sports medicine, the quest for effective and efficient injury recovery

methods is ongoing. One treatment modality that has gained significant traction in

recent years is shockwave therapy, a non-invasive approach that harnesses the power of

acoustic waves to accelerate healing and alleviate pain. This innovative technique is

revolutionizing the way athletic injuries are treated, offering a promising solution for

athletes seeking a swift return to their respective sports.


What is Shockwave Therapy?

Shockwave therapy, also known as extracorporeal shock wave therapy (ESWT), involves

the application of high-energy sound waves to the affected area. These waves are

generated by a handheld device and transmitted through the skin, creating a controlled

microtrauma within the injured tissues. This microtrauma triggers a cascade of

biological responses, including increased blood flow, the release of growth factors, and

the stimulation of cellular repair mechanisms.


The principle behind shockwave therapy is rooted in the body's natural healing

processes. By inducing a controlled injury, the therapy initiates a regenerative response,

leading to the formation of new blood vessels, the production of collagen, and the

recruitment of repair cells to the affected area. This accelerated healing process not

only addresses the underlying injury but also provides significant pain relief, making it

an attractive option for athletes seeking a non-invasive alternative to traditional

treatments.


Benefits of Shockwave Therapy for Athletic Injuries


1. Accelerated Recovery: One of the most significant advantages of shockwave

therapy is its ability to expedite the healing process. By stimulating the body's

natural repair mechanisms, athletes can experience a faster recovery time,

allowing them to return to their sport sooner and with reduced risk of re-injury.


2. Non-Invasive Treatment: Unlike surgical interventions, shockwave therapy is

entirely non-invasive, eliminating the need for incisions or prolonged recovery

periods. This makes it an appealing option for athletes who wish to avoid the

potential complications and downtime associated with invasive procedures.


3. Reduced Pain and Inflammation: The microtrauma induced by shockwave

therapy has been shown to disrupt pain signals and reduce inflammation in the

affected area. This can provide significant relief for athletes suffering from

chronic or acute pain, improving their overall quality of life and enabling them to

engage in rehabilitation exercises more effectively.


4. Versatility: Shockwave therapy has proven effective in treating a wide range of

athletic injuries, including tendinopathies (such as tennis elbow and Achilles

tendinitis), muscle strains, stress fractures, and plantar fasciitis. This versatility

makes it a valuable tool in the sports medicine arsenal, catering to the diverse

needs of athletes across various disciplines.


Evidence Supporting Shockwave Therapy


While shockwave therapy is a relatively new treatment modality, a growing body of

research supports its efficacy in treating athletic injuries. Numerous studies have

demonstrated positive outcomes in terms of pain reduction, improved function, and

accelerated healing.


For instance, a systematic review published in the Journal of Orthopedic Surgery and

Research found that shockwave therapy was effective in treating various

tendinopathies, including rotator cuff tendinitis, lateral epicondylitis (tennis elbow), and

patellar tendinopathy (jumper's knee). Another study published in the American Journal of Sports Medicine reported significant improvements in pain and function among athletes with

chronic Achilles tendinopathy after undergoing shockwave therapy.


It is important to note that while the evidence supporting shockwave therapy is

promising, further research is still needed to fully understand its long-term effects and

optimal treatment protocols for specific injuries.


Shockwave therapy represents a significant advancement in the field of sports

medicine, offering a non-invasive and effective approach to treating athletic injuries. By

harnessing the power of acoustic waves, this innovative technique accelerates healing,

reduces pain, and promotes a faster return to athletic activities. As research continues

to validate its efficacy, shockwave therapy is poised to become an increasingly valuable

tool in the arsenal of sports medicine professionals, empowering athletes to overcome

injuries and achieve their full potential.


Experience the power of Shockwave therapy at Elevation Spine and Sports Medicine


At Elevation, we incorporate shockwave into your personalized treatment plan,

harnessing its incredible benefits to help you overcome your pain and get you back to

doing your favorite activities without limitation. Our ideal treatment includes about 6 sessions

lasting around 5-10 minutes, and are crafted to fit your busy schedule.


For a comprehensive treatment experience, we can combine shockwave therapy with

adjustments, soft tissue therapies and therapeutic exercise to enhance the recovery process.

Don’t let pain hold you back any longer. Book your appointment now and take the first

step towards a pain-free life and enhanced athletic performance.


Burton I. Combined extracorporeal shockwave therapy and exercise for the treatment of

tendinopathy: A narrative review. Sports Med Health Sci. 2021 Nov 11;4(1):8-17. doi:

10.1016/j.smhs.2021.11.002. PMID: 35782779; PMCID: PMC9219268.


Dedes V, Stergioulas A, Kipreos G, Dede AM, Mitseas A, Panoutsopoulos GI. Effectiveness and

Safety of Shockwave Therapy in Tendinopathies. Mater Sociomed. 2018 Jun;30(2):131-146. doi:

10.5455/msm.2018.30.141-146. PMID: 30061805; PMCID: PMC6029898.

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