Radial Shockwave Therapy
What is Radial Shockwave Therapy?
Radial Shockwave Therapy (RSWT) is an FDA-cleared technology proven to increase the rate of healing for soft tissue tendinopathy or degeneration of tendons. It is an advanced, non-invasive, and highly effective treatment method that increases blood circulation and accelerates the healing process allowing the damaged tendon to gradually regenerate. It is particularly helpful for conditions such as chronic plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendinitis, and partial tendon tears.
How does Radial Shockwave Therapy help?
When you have an area of chronic pain or injury, your body no longer recognizes the area as injured and no longer attempts to heal the injury. With Radial Shockwave therapy, ballistic sounds waves are transmitted through the skin and penetrate deep into the injured tissue or tendon, causing areas of microtrauma and restart the inflammatory cascade. Once this occurs, the body’s natural healing response is reactivated. In addition, the energy delivered through the ballistic sound waves causes the cells in the injured soft tissue to release specific biochemicals that intensify the body’s natural healing process and generate new, microscopic blood vessels that further accelerate healing.
How often does it work?
Extensive studies performed on Radial Shockwave Therapy over the past 20 years have shown a success rate for treatment of soft tissue tendinopathy of 80%.
How does it work?
The Radial Shockwave Therapy machine has an applicator that looks like an ultrasound device. It is applied to the skin at the area of injury or pain and usually, 2400-3300 pulses are given in the desired area. There is minimal discomfort, and no anesthesia is required. It is a quick treatment, lasting 5 minutes, and no aftercare is required. Ice and NSAIDs (Motrin, Advil, Naprosyn) are to be avoiding during the treatment cycle to avoid interfering with the inflammatory cascade.
Why consider Radial Shockwave Therapy?
RSWT has a proven success rate that is equal to or greater than that of traditional treatment methods, including surgery, without the risks, complications, and lengthy recovery periods. There are no incisions and no risk of infections, or scar tissue, like with surgery. There is no need for anesthesia to be administered during treatment, as opposed to high-energy shockwave therapy reserved for use in the hospital or outpatient setting. Patients treated with RSWT may be active immediately and resume their normal routine the same day. Many patients find a significant and immediate reduction in their pain. Some patients will feel results gradually after each treatment.
Why RSWT instead of Physical Therapy?
Physical therapy is usually 2-3 times a week, for 6 weeks, and you are at the facility at least an hour each visit, plus travel time. Additionally, usually, a co-pay is required for every visit which could be $40 or more. Over a 6-week period or 15 visits, this can add up to $600 or more in out-of-pocket co-pays. The RSWT treatments are only once a week, for 5 minutes each. This is a highly effective modality that is faster and more effective than physical therapy, and the cost of RSWT treatments are usually less than the total of your physical therapy co-pays.
What are the possible side effects?
There have been very few side effects reported. In rare cases, skin bruising may occur. Patients may feel soreness in the treated area for a day or two afterward, similar to a strenuous workout.
Will I be in pain afterward?
Some patients may feel a slight discomfort, like a bruise, a day or two after treatment. This is normal and a sign the treatment is working.
How many treatments are needed?
Most patients will require 4-5 treatments, done once per week, for full recovery.
Are there other conditions for which Radial Shockwave Therapy is useful?
Chronic wounds or ulcers that may be due, in part, to poor circulation have shown improvements in the rate of healing and success of wound closure when RSWT is administered around the periphery of the wound or ulcer, in addition to standard wound care therapy.