As a manual treatment, it can take some time for the results of shockwave therapy to become apparent. While some patients report immediate pain relief after treatment, others may take several weeks to experience any significant analgesic effect. Some people may feel relief after just one session, but it can take several weeks or months for the full benefits of shockwave therapy to become apparent. Effectiveness can vary from person to person and depends on factors such as medical history, type of pain, location of pain, severity of symptoms, and type of shock wave therapy administered.
In the 1990s, scientists began studying the effects of high-energy shockwave therapy on soft tissue injuries. When you undergo shock wave treatment, your therapist will use a portable device connected to a machine that converts compressed air into sound waves. Shockwave therapy, or Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy (ESWT), is a non-invasive technology that sends sound waves to affected areas of the body and helps with recovery. In other cases, the body may respond so well to treatment that significant results are achieved after just one or two sessions of shock wave therapy.
The number of shockwave treatment sessions you need will largely depend on the type and severity of the cause that brings you to the doctor. It can treat both long-term chronic conditions and more recent acute injuries. There is plenty of evidence to show that Shockwave can achieve excellent results even under historic conditions. Many patients report having beneficial effects that can last for months or even years, depending on the specific health condition being treated and the type of shockwave therapy being administered.
If you've had an injury to a tendon, elbow, or hamstring, your doctor might recommend shock wave therapy. The doctor will also not consider shockwave therapy when it is apparent that an injury requires surgery rather than non-invasive treatment. Shockwave therapy was originally developed to help urologists treat kidney stones non-invasively, in the late 1990s. The doctor may not recommend shockwave therapy, for example, when soft tissue is irreparably torn.
We recommend not using ice or anti-inflammatory drugs after shock wave therapy, as they would be counterproductive to the treatment, as they would promote the body's natural healing process. Shockwave therapy has also been approved by the FDA as a treatment for lateral tennis elbow and plantar fasciitis, giving patients hope. Shockwave therapy is also known as Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy (ESWT) or Radial Shockwave Therapy (RSWT). However, the decision to choose shockwave therapy over another type of healing technique is ultimately up to you and your doctor.
In general, it's not uncommon for people to need a series of shockwave therapy sessions, usually spaced between one and two weeks apart, to achieve the desired results.