Today, it is customary to treat various lesions in the musculoskeletal system using the new shock wave therapy technique. Some experts consider the technique as an alternative to surgical operations, which will lead to a reduction in the rehabilitation period, a decrease in various risks for the patient and more. However, the possibility of such therapy is largely due to a number of factors and the correctness of its use.
Features of the procedure for using shock wave therapy
The technique of shock wave therapy is based on the impact on the tissue of a certain frequency of shock acoustic waves, which produces a specially designed apparatus for this. By shock waves we mean pulses of an infrasonic nature with high pressure. They affect tissues by stimulating regeneration and microcirculation. This allows you to level pain, increase blood circulation in places of influence, loosen dehydration in the joints with resorption of such fragments in the future, and remove salts from the places of their accumulation. At the same time, the temperature in the tissues locally increases, which leads to an acceleration of regeneration and excludes the development of inflammatory processes.
Shock wave therapy looks very simple. A specialized gel must be applied to the site of the disease’s location, as with a standard ultrasound examination. Then, with the help of the device’s sensor, the specialist begins to work out the gel-treated area, having previously set on the device the necessary pressure force of the waves and its frequency, which are needed in each case for various diseases.
The effectiveness of the appointment of shock wave therapy is confirmed by many clinical studies. If you apply the procedure in a timely manner, in the required amount with the appropriate diagnosis, then positive results can occur, both due to cumulative effects, and almost instantly after 1-2 procedures.
The early positive effects that are most often observed in patients after the first sessions of shock wave therapy include improved tissue microcirculation, the occurrence of local anesthesia (anesthesia of painful areas), restoration of metabolic rate, and reduction of muscle hypertonicity. Among the more distant effects of an accumulative nature, one can single out the removal of loosened calcium salts from the human body, articular and ligamentous mobility, increased regenerative processes in tissues, the process of restoring capillary blood supply and prolonged processes of activation of blood flow at the lesion sites.
When using shock wave therapy, it is very effective to treat calcaneal spurs, not exacerbated arthritis and early arthrosis, hernias, osteochondrosis, urolithiasis, poorly fused fractures, injuries in the tendons and ligaments, trophic ulcers, burns, as well as cellulite and reduced skin turgor . If you approach the treatment of these diseases in a comprehensive manner, that is, in addition to using shock wave therapy, use medication, apply massage and physiotherapy, recovery occurs in 90% of patients.
Indications and contraindications for therapy
Each type of therapeutic treatment has its own indications. Shock-wave therapy, which manifests itself well with some problems of the musculoskeletal system, is no exception. Traumatologists and orthopedists recommend the appointment of shock wave therapy for:
- early arthrosis, non-infectious arthritis and synovitis;
- plantar fasciitis, epicondylitis, bursitis, achillitis, achillodynia;
- osteochondrosis, osteochondropathy and hernia;
- after traumatic pain in the coccyx;
- humeroscapular periarthritis;
- trauma to soft tissues associated with ruptures of muscle tissue and tendons;
- the development of joints in the postoperative period;
- poorly fused fractures to stimulate the appearance of bone calluses;
- relieve muscle spasm from increased sports training.
On the eve of how a specialist prescribes shock wave therapy to his patient, you need to carefully study the diagnosis and history of the disease, in order to avoid appointing a procedure for those people who have contraindications to it. Contraindications for shock wave therapy are conditionally divided into conditional, that is, those whose occurrence may or may not have a bad effect on the body in combination with this technique, and unconditional, in the presence of which shock wave therapy is categorically not possible.
Doctors most often refer to conditional or temporary contraindications pregnancy, age up to 17-20 years, the presence of acute infections in the body, deformation of the musculoskeletal system, which excludes the penetration of the procedure into the necessary zone.
Among the absolute contraindications, the central place is occupied by somatic and technical factors. Doctors consider technical contraindications undesirable effects on the main vessels, lungs, brain or spinal cord, intestines, many areas of the spine, as well as the presence of a pacemaker in the patient if shock wave therapy should be carried out with an apparatus with electromagnetic components. Oncological contraindications include oncology, disturbance in the process of blood coagulation, violation of the heart rhythm, various diseases of the nervous system.
The effectiveness of shock wave therapy
The reviews of experts indicate that the therapeutic technique under consideration does not cause complications and has a positive effect on the course of many diseases with its correct and appropriate implementation. A course of 5-7 sessions conducted every 3-7 days can eliminate up to 95% of various pathological manifestations in patients of different ages. Feedback from orthopedists also suggests that often after the application of shock wave therapy, the patient ceases to need surgical interventions, which greatly facilitates the course of treatment, the patient’s moral and psychological state, and shortens the rehabilitation period.
But even in the case when it is not possible to manage without surgical intervention, the rehabilitation period is significantly reduced when using this technique, since it promotes the healing and regeneration of all types of tissues, helps to resume mobility in the limbs.
Cosmetologists and plastic surgeons approve of the use of shock wave therapy to eliminate cellulite, restore skin after many traumatic procedures (peels, microdermabrasion and others), including surgery. Using shock-wave therapy, sports doctors help athletes return to duty after injuries, and also help increase the tolerance of heavy loads in subsequent workouts.
The general opinion of doctors agrees that the use of shock wave therapy in the treatment helps people with various problems recover more quickly and return to normal life. However, shock wave therapy cannot be considered as a panacea, since it is not shown to everyone and far from every disease. The mechanism of the impact of the methodology has not been fully studied by doctors, which is why the qualifications of the specialist who undertakes its implementation should be the highest, and the equipment should only be of high quality, intended for professional use.