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Focused Shockwave at Pure Relief Chiropractic

What is the difference between focused shockwave therapy and acoustic wave therapy?

Acoustic wave therapy (AWT) and focused shockwave therapy are both non-invasive medical procedures that use acoustic waves to treat various musculoskeletal and vascular conditions, but they differ in their characteristics, mechanisms of action, and applications:

Acoustic Wave Therapy (AWT): AWT utilizes radial or unfocused acoustic waves that spread outwards from the treatment probe. These waves are characterized by their relatively low energy levels and gentle, pulsating pressure waves. AWT mainly focuses on stimulating tissue and promoting healing by improving blood flow and encouraging the body’s natural regenerative processes.
Focused Shockwave Therapy: Focused shockwave therapy, on the other hand, employs high-energy, focused shockwaves. These shockwaves are intense, high-pressure waves that converge at a specific focal point. Focused shockwaves are used to create mechanical and microtrauma effects on target tissues, which can stimulate tissue repair and pain relief.

AWT: AWT typically uses lower energy levels and is often considered less intense than focused shockwave therapy.
Focused Shockwave Therapy: Focused shockwave therapy uses higher energy levels, which may lead to more profound effects on tissues.

AWT: AWT is often used for applications such as improving blood circulation, promoting tissue regeneration, and addressing conditions like erectile dysfunction and cellulite reduction. It is also sometimes used in sports medicine to treat musculoskeletal injuries and pain.
Focused Shockwave Therapy: Focused shockwave therapy is commonly employed to treat a wider range of musculoskeletal conditions, including chronic tendonitis, plantar fasciitis, calcific shoulder tendinopathy, and more. It is primarily used for pain relief and tissue regeneration in these specific conditions.

AWT: AWT can be used on various parts of the body, including soft tissues and blood vessels.
Focused Shockwave Therapy: Focused shockwave therapy is often used to target specific areas of localized pain or injury, delivering the shockwaves precisely to the affected site.

AWT: AWT treatments typically involve multiple sessions over a period of several weeks, with shorter treatment durations during each session.
Focused Shockwave Therapy: Focused shockwave therapy also requires multiple sessions, but the treatment duration for each session is generally shorter. The frequency and number of sessions may vary based on the condition being treated.

Here’s how focused shockwave treatment works:

Focused shockwaveShockwave Generation: Focused shockwaves are high-energy acoustic waves that are generated by a specialized device. These shockwaves are high-pressure waves that travel through a handpiece to a specific focal point within the body.

Application to Targeted Area: The healthcare provider or therapist places the handpiece directly on or near the area of the body affected by the musculoskeletal condition. The focused shockwaves are then directed precisely to the target tissue, such as a tendon or ligament, where the pain or injury is localized.

Mechanical and Biological Effects: When the focused shockwaves interact with the targeted tissue, they create mechanical and biological effects. These effects include:

  • Microtrauma: The shockwaves induce microtrauma within the tissue, triggering a healing response. This microtrauma can stimulate the release of growth factors and cytokines, which are involved in tissue repair and regeneration.
  • Improved Blood Flow: Shockwave therapy may enhance blood flow to the area, promoting the delivery of oxygen and nutrients necessary for tissue healing.
  • Pain Reduction: The therapy can have a pain-relieving effect by reducing pain signals from the nerves and by triggering the release of endorphins, the body’s natural painkillers.
  • Tissue Regeneration: Focused shockwaves may contribute to the regeneration of damaged or degenerated tissues by promoting the production of collagen and the remodeling of connective tissues.

Treatment Sessions: Focused shockwave musculoskeletal treatment typically involves a series of treatment sessions. The exact number of sessions, as well as the frequency and intensity of the shockwaves, can vary depending on the specific condition being treated and the individual patient’s response.

Conditions commonly treated with focused shockwave therapy include:

  • Tendinopathies: Conditions like Achilles tendinopathy, plantar fasciitis, rotator cuff tendinopathy, and tennis elbow.
  • Muscle and Ligament Injuries: Strains, sprains, and other soft tissue injuries.
  • Calcific Tendonitis: A condition where calcium deposits form in a tendon.
  • Bone Healing: In some cases, shockwave therapy may be used to promote bone healing, such as in delayed unions or non-unions of fractures.
  • Focused shockwave musculoskeletal treatment is considered a non-invasive and well-tolerated procedure, and it is typically performed on an outpatient basis. Patients may experience mild discomfort during the treatment, but it is generally well-tolerated. The effectiveness of the therapy can vary from person to person, and it is important to consult with a healthcare provider or specialist to determine if it is a suitable treatment option for a specific musculoskeletal condition.

    Focused Shockwave in Windsor Park | Pure Relief Chiropractic