Most patients require three sessions of shock wave therapy, each one week apart, before they start to notice significant pain relief. Some conditions may require up to five treatments. Your specialist will be able to talk to you about your particular case and your expectations. Depending on the severity of the pain and the number of areas being treated, the results may take less time to become apparent; likewise, if you have major chronic pain, you may need a second treatment after 16 weeks to achieve optimal results.
For some patients, it may take up to one year of treatment, usually 3 to 6 treatments, for optimal results. The number of treatments you need will vary depending on the diagnosis and the duration of your symptoms. Depending on the severity of the injury and the reason you are receiving treatment, you may feel relief after one or two treatments. Everyone responds differently to treatment, so it's impossible to predict how long after shockwave therapy sessions they'll feel well.
During treatment, tissue hyperstimulation can create a temporary anesthetic effect that makes you feel good immediately after the session. For some people, this anesthesia-like sensation lasts for hours. For others, it can last for days. It usually takes about 16 weeks after treatment to enjoy the full benefits of shockwave therapy.
Studies show that this improvement in pain continues for months and even years after the last shockwave session has ended (Moya, et al., 201). To ensure that you receive true shockwave therapy, it is important to go to a specialized clinic where doctors have extensive experience using shock wave therapy to treat tendon pain. As part of the shock wave session, your physical therapist will also prescribe the correct rehabilitation exercises for your condition to ensure optimal recovery. Shockwave therapy is generally recommended for patients who don't respond well to medications or who don't want more invasive treatments.
After a shock wave treatment, your physical therapist will recommend that you do not take any anti-inflammatory medication such as ibuprofen, as it could decrease the effect of the treatment. Shockwave therapy uses a specialized device to deliver acoustic energy through the skin to the injured part of the body. Most people can return to normal activities the next day after shockwave therapy, but your urologist will discuss whether you should restrict your activity for longer to recover. Overall, clinical studies have shown that shockwave therapy is effective and safe, but more research is needed to identify potential risks and the best treatment protocols for a person with erectile dysfunction.