What Are Shockwave and Soundwave Therapy?

If you go to a practitioner of sports medicine, you may run into two new terms: shockwave therapy and soundwave therapy. What are they, and what conditions do they help?


Shockwave therapy delivers shock waves to injured soft tissue to promote healing and reduce pain. It is used to treat tennis elbow and similar injuries when they have become chronic. This state, known as chronic tendinopathy, is diagnosed when other treatments have failed to work over a prolonged period of time. This therapy is also used to treat plantar fasciopathy, which is more commonly known as plantar fasciitis.


This therapy is often preferred by those who haven't responded to first-line treatments, but who don't want to go for surgery. Typically, there is a single non-invasive shockwave therapy treatment per week for three weeks to start, and relief begins to be apparent after two weeks. If pain persists after three weeks, but is showing signs of improvement, treatments may be continued to increase results.


Soundwave therapy is also non-invasive, making it an option for those who don't want surgery. It is used to treat chronic pain, and uses ultrasound to create the results. This therapy works well for problems like osteoarthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome, bursitis, pain from scar tissue, and similar issues. There are two main versions: thermal and mechanical. The thermal version produces a notable heating effect, which can add pain-relieving benefits. Mechanical soundwave therapy may have a mild heating effect, but its main benefit comes from expanding and contracting tiny bubbles of gas within the soft tissues. This reduces inflammation and swelling.


If you've been suffering from chronic pain in specific body parts, talk to me about shockwave therapy or sound therapy. They may bring non-surgical relief where other methods have failed.

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