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Radial Shockwave Therapy: What Is It & Why Should You Try It?

Radial Shockwave Therapy

Radial shockwave therapy is gaining momentum as a preferred treatment for a wide range of conditions. You might have heard of or come across the phrase in relation to chiropractic, physiotherapy and sports medicine. To learn more about radial shockwave therapy and its benefits, contact us or read on.  

What is Radial Shockwave Therapy? 

Shockwave therapy is a non-invasive treatment that offers fast pain relief and mobility restoration. It produces a series of low energy pressure wave pulsations that are directly applied via a gel medium to an injury through the skin. The technology arose from the discovery that focused acoustic waves could break down gallstones and kidney stones. This technology has since been successful in the treatment of several acute and chronic MSK (musculoskeletal) conditions in clinical studies.  

Radial shockwave therapy has emerged as a preferred treatment for pain resulting from acute or lingering injuries. The therapy triggers the body’s natural healing response, reducing the need for ongoing pain management. Many people observe improved mobility and reduced pain after the first treatment.  

How Does Radial Shockwave Therapy Work? 

Radial shockwave therapy is used in the treatment of numerous musculoskeletal conditions, particularly those that involve connective tissues like tendons and ligaments. It is a handy tool for chronic or acute tendon conditions (tendinopathy, tendonitis, tendinosis). These include tennis elbow, rotator cuff injuries, Achilles’ strain, jumpers’ knees, planter fasciitis and calcific tendonitis of the shoulder.  It also works great on muscle pain and muscle knots. 

During your first session, your chiropractor will confirm that your condition is appropriate for radial shockwave therapy. We will also educate you about your condition and give guidance on other measures you can take in addition to shockwave treatment. Other measures might include specific exercises, activity modification and postural education.  

Benefits of Radial Shockwave Therapy 

Shockwave therapy accelerates the healing process in the body through metabolic stimulation and enhanced blood circulation to regenerate damaged tissue. 

  • New Blood Vessel Formation 
    The application of the pressure wave pulsations creates micro ruptures in tendon, ligament, and bone capillaries.  This leads to expression of growth factors and remodelling of blood vessels. Improved blood supply aids and maintains the repair process.  
  • Reversal of Chronic Inflammation 
    Acoustic waves may increase the activity of mast cells, which are one of the key components of the inflammatory process, thereby reversing inflammation.  
  • Stimulation of Collagen Production 
    The repair process of damaged ligamentous structures and myoskeletal structures requires the production of a sufficient amount of collagen. Radial shockwave therapy accelerates the synthesis of procollagen. 
  • Dissolution of Calcified Fibroblasts
    Micro tears and other forms of trauma to a tendon often result in the buildup of calcium. The acoustic pressure waves of radial shockwave therapy break up existing calcifications. 
  • Dispersion of Pain Mediator – Substance P
    This neurotransmitter mediates pain information between C-fibers and is associated with chronic, persistent, and intense pain. 
  • Release of Trigger Points
    Trigger points are a primary cause of pain in the neck, back, limbs and shoulder. The acoustic waves may help release trigger points by reversing calcium pump blockage and the resultant metabolic crisis in myofilaments.

Should You Try Radial Shockwave Therapy? 

Radial shockwave therapy is a widely researched and proven treatment method for a wide range of chronic and acute pain conditions. Contact Whyte Avenue Chiropractic & Wellness Centre today if you have any questions regarding radial shockwave therapy or would like to book an appointment for an initial consultation.