Shockwave is very similar to the technology used in lithiotripsy to break up kidney stones. It is a single, large amplitude pressure wave that can travel through solids, liquids, and gas.
When the shockwave reaches the tissue it creates a positive and negative wave. The positive wave creates a mechanical force, while the negative wave creates a cavitation or bubble in the tissue. This then causes mechanotransduction which changes signaling cascades in the tissue.
Shockwave therapy is non-painful and require no sedation or anesthesia.
Three to five treatments 3-7 days apart. Research indicates that the positive effects of shockwave last for about 6 months.
The Effects of Shockwave:
When a shockwave is produced it causes a change in tissue through mechanotransduction. The cell membranes get hyperpolarized and oxygen free radicals are produced. This effect causes:
Enhanced neovascularity (improved blood flow)
Accelerated growth factors release (increased healing)
Selective neural inhibition (decrease pain)
Up regulation of TGF beta and VEGF (recruit mesenchymal stem cells)
Down regulates COX2 and EP2 inflammatory mediators (decrease inflammation)
Conditions Shockwave can treat:
Tendinopathies including supraspinatus, biceps, achilles, patellar, or hamstring
Elbow or hip dysplasia
Cranial cruciate ligament tears
Avascular necrosis of the femoral head
Osteochondrosis Dissecans (early reports)
Trigger points in muscles
Chronic back pain