Affordable Shockwave Therapy in Denver
Shockwave therapy in Denver can be used to treat chronic tendonitis, plantar fasciitis, and Achilles tendonitis, among other conditions. These conditions mainly affect athletes but can also affect everyday people, especially those who lead active lifestyles and overexert their muscles. You may experience pain and discomfort when these injuries happen. Extracorporeal shockwave therapy (ESWT) can help.
What is ESWT and how does it work?
ESWT is a non-invasive treatment used for several conditions. Despite its popularity in treating musculoskeletal injuries, ESWT began as a treatment for kidney stones and gallstones (extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy or ESWL). ESWT has been a preferred treatment for these conditions for over 20 years.
Additionally, ESWT has been used to treat musculoskeletal conditions, including tennis elbow and bony nonunion. Since their introduction, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved extracorporeal shockwave therapy machine devices to treat lateral epicondylitis and plantar fasciitis. You can purchase “shockwave” therapy devices for as little as $200 online. However, you get what you pay for. High-quality, medical-grade, professional devices begin at $30,000 and can cost as much as $100,000. Medical-grade ESWT devices help patients avoid surgical procedures and steroid injections.
How Does Shockwave Therapy Work?
Shockwave therapy helps to accelerate the body’s normal healing process. It helps speed up the recovery of injured joints and tissue while diminishing pain and discomfort.
Extracorporeal shockwave therapy works in one of two ways, through “focused” shockwaves or “radial” pressure waves. A medical provider will administer the treatment; lasting benefits can require several visits.
The focused shockwave method uses a very focused impulse to target affected areas. There is no need for anesthesia since the shockwave used is low energy. The patient lays down with the affected area exposed. The doctor applies a special gel to the affected area, which helps deliver the impulses deeper into the skin.
The ESTW device applies shockwaves to the treatment area through rapid “pulses’. Treatments typically last between 5 and 15 minutes and can be used in many areas. While this treatment can be uncomfortable for some patients, most notice only light pressure and no pain.
The first ESWT device to hit the market was the electro-hydraulic device, followed by the piezo-electric device and several electro-magnetic machines. These devices have the same outcome: releasing focused pressure pulses to injured joints and tissue. The main differences between these devices are the focus zones and sound fields. Despite these differences, each of these devices generates shockwaves to promote healing. However, the pressure and shock waves vary in energy and focus.
Studies still need to be completed on the effectiveness of shockwave therapy and are currently ongoing. Regardless, the results of shockwave therapy may take some time.
ESWT Combined with Other Treatments Provides the Best Results
ESWT research has shown that treatment has been performed effectively on several patients. Additionally, there is strong evidence of its success in treating Achilles tendinopathy and relieving the symptoms.
ESWT has expanded its treatment areas over the years. While research is ongoing, medical professionals hope ESWT therapies can help treat neurological disorders like multiple sclerosis and the effects of stroke. Most patients will experience significant improvement in their conditions with three weeks of consistent treatment. Of course, our doctors will determine your treatment plan based on your specific needs.
While the FDA has approved shockwave therapy for several conditions, some insurances have yet to incorporate this treatment into their plans. Many Denver physical medicine clinics charge up to $250 per treatment. Integrative Health and Rehabilitation works with most insurance companies and offers discounted prices to patients without insurance or with high deductibles.
ESWT is safe for most people. Still, some individuals face side effects, either from improper therapy treatment or otherwise. The most common adverse side effects are:
- Discomfort or pain during therapy treatment
- Post-treatment pain
- Red skin
- Increased sensitivity (hyperesthesia)
- Nerve pain (neuralgia)
- Burning sensation (paresthesia)
- Nausea and vomiting
- Joint disorder
- Damage to blood vessels
Due to the nature of the treatment, the U.S. FDA also restricts ESWT in some instances. ESWT should not be used on or near:
- Malignant tumors
- An unborn child
- Lung tissue
- Epiphyseal plate
- Prosthetic devices
The providers at Integrative Health and Rehab have a great deal of experience with ESWT and have had great success when combining ESWT with other therapies like chiropractic adjustments, acupuncture, dry needling, and other PT modalities like electric muscle stimulation and ultrasound.
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