What is Radial Shockwave Therapy?
Radial Shockwave Therapy (RSWT) is a non-invasive treatment option that uses high-energy shockwaves to stimulate healing in injured tissues. The shockwaves are delivered through a hand-held device that applies pressure waves to the affected area. This type of therapy is also known as Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy (ESWT).
RSWT works by triggering the body’s natural healing response in the affected area. The pressure waves cause microtrauma to the tissue, which stimulates blood flow and the production of growth factors and other healing agents. This promotes tissue regeneration and healing, reduces inflammation and pain, and helps to break down scar tissue.
What Injuries Can It Be Used For?
RSWT can be used to treat a variety of musculoskeletal conditions, including:
- Plantar fasciitis and other foot and ankle injuries
- Tennis elbow and other elbow injuries
- Shoulder injuries, such as rotator cuff tendonitis and calcific tendonitis
- Patellar tendonitis and other knee injuries
- Hip and gluteal pain
- Chronic neck and back pain
- Achilles tendonitis and other lower leg injuries
How Many Sessions Are Recommended?
The number of RSWT sessions recommended will depend on the individual’s injury and response to treatment. In general, a course of treatment will consist of three to six sessions, spaced one to two weeks apart. Most patients will begin to feel some relief after the first few sessions, but it may take several weeks to see the full benefits of the treatment.
Does Shockwave Therapy Hurt?
RSWT can be uncomfortable during the treatment, but it is typically not described as painful. The level of discomfort will depend on the individual’s pain tolerance and the intensity of the treatment. Most patients report feeling a sensation of pressure or tapping in the affected area during the treatment.
What Does the Research Say About Shockwave Therapy?
There is a growing body of research supporting the use of RSWT for the treatment of various musculoskeletal conditions. Studies have shown that RSWT can significantly reduce pain and improve function in patients with conditions such as plantar fasciitis, tennis elbow, and patellar tendonitis. Some studies have also suggested that RSWT may be as effective as surgery for certain conditions, such as calcific tendonitis.
However, more research is needed to fully understand the effectiveness of RSWT and its optimal use in the treatment of musculoskeletal conditions. It is important to note that RSWT should be used as part of a comprehensive treatment plan that includes rest, rehabilitation exercises, and other modalities as appropriate.
In summary, RSWT is a non-invasive treatment option that uses high-energy shockwaves to promote tissue regeneration and healing in injured tissues. It can be used to treat a variety of musculoskeletal conditions, and typically involves three to six sessions spaced one to two weeks apart. Although RSWT can be uncomfortable during treatment, it is generally not described as painful. While there is promising research supporting the use of RSWT, more studies are needed to fully understand its effectiveness and optimal use in the treatment of musculoskeletal conditions.