What is shock wave? A shockwave is a pressure wave – any action that displaces its surrounding medium is a shockwave. The ripple created when a stone is thrown into a pond is a shockwave. The shockwaves used in equine medicine are generated in a fluid medium inside a transducer head and are then transmitted readily through skin, fat, and muscle. The high energy waves are focused within the transducer head so that the shockwave can be directed to the precise area of the injury. When shockwaves hit an area of higher acoustic impedance, such as bone, the waves slow dramatically and a large amount of energy is released into the surrounding tissue.
What signs indicate this therapy is needed?
Shock wave therapy may treat conditions such as degenerated tendons (Achilles tendonitis), heel pain (plantar fasciitis) and tennis elbow (lateral epicondylitis).
How Long Does Treatment Last? The therapy session takes about 15 minutes depending on the disorder that is treated. In general, 3-5 sessions are necessary at weekly intervals. The greatest success rate when dealing with problem areas is achieved by following a 12 week treatment program.
When should I avoid this therapy? Complications are infrequent with shock wave therapy. People who have poor sensation (neuropathy) or hypersensitivity in the target area should not have this procedure. Open sores should also be avoided. Shock wave therapy is not used in patients with heart conditions or seizures. It should not be used during pregnancy. This should be discussed with your physician before undergoing the procedure.