The effects of shock wave in physiotherapy – the shock wave device is used in physiotherapy for the effective treatment of musculoskeletal diseases.
Shockwave therapy is a non-invasive method and the effects of shockwave in physiotherapy are caused by very small and fast waves by applying sound waves to the treated area.
Shock wave therapy
In this article, we will discuss briefly about shock wave therapy and how it works.
This treatment method, which is used in physiotherapy, is completely safe and non-invasive, and increases the body’s self-healing ability by stimulated energetic pulses, as a result of which the tissue that has been injured is healed and The pains caused by it are relieved.
The effects of shock wave appear in physiotherapy when other non-invasive treatment methods have not responded to the treatment.
In fact, it can be said that shock wave therapy is a substitute for surgery.
In the shock wave therapy method, the energy waves can be adjusted on any part of the body and are so strong that they enter the internal tissue, and the energy that reaches the damaged tissue through the shock wave is fast and painless. Fortunately, it does not have any side effects and is performed on an outpatient basis, and the patient can continue his daily activities after shock wave therapy.
The performance of shock wave effects in physiotherapy
As mentioned, the shock wave has its effects on the damaged tissue by sending energy pulses.
The effects of shockwave in physiotherapy are focused on the target point by energy pulses in the form of waves and through the gun of the device, and cause small and concentrated shocks on that area, which this mechanism causes the natural sanctions of the damaged tissues of the body.
With the use of shock wave therapy, a force is transferred to the body, and this energy transfer is carried out by the probe of the device.
The incoming force has high energy that is applied to the patient’s body.
For the effects of shock wave in physiotherapy, a special gel should be applied to the desired area while working with the device so that the shock wave waves are better transmitted to the tissue.
When the physiotherapist puts the probe on the target point and moves, he should ask the patient if he feels pain or not.
If the patient feels pain due to the transfer of high energy of the waves, they get help from local anesthetics.
How to move the probe of the shockwave device on the patient’s body
For the effects of shock wave in physiotherapy, attention should be paid to the way the device probe is moved during the treatment. Of course, the way to move the probe of the shockwave device depends on the device model and the technology used in it.
Let’s assume that the client has a problem in the back of the neck and needs shock wave therapy. In this case, according to the type and model of the device for the effects of shock wave in physiotherapy, the physiotherapist moves the probe on the desired part with circular and zigzag movements and targets the desired area with many shocks.
Usually, the number of shocks depends on the damaged area and it is not possible to define a specific number of shocks for treatment.
The main effects of shock wave in physiotherapy
In this section, we will discuss the main and most important effects of shock wave in the treatment of musculoskeletal diseases, which include:
Releasing trigger points
In back pain, arm and leg pain, neck and shoulder trigger points cause pain. The sound waves produced by the shockwave device cause the release of calcium, and as a result, the metabolic problems of the muscles will disappear and will lead to the release of trigger points.
Loss of calcium deposited in the tissue
One of the main effects of shockwave in physiotherapy is to eliminate calcium deposits in the joints. Calcium deposited in the joints is caused by the lack of mobility, in such a situation, calcium accumulates in the joints and so-called calcification occurs.
Treatment with the shock wave device causes the dispersion and loss of accumulated calcium due to the waves it transmits to the joints.
Stimulation of collagen formation from the effects of shock wave in physiotherapy
Another effect of shock wave in physiotherapy is stimulation of collagen production. For the healing of ligaments, skeleton and muscle structures, collagen plays an important role and shock wave therapy stimulates the production of new collagen fibers and these collagen fibers strengthen and disperse tendon fibers.
Improvement of chronic inflammations
When body parts become inflamed, they cause chronic pain and also damage healthy tissues.
The factor that improves inflammatory pains are mast cells, which shock waves will increase by affecting mast cells, and as a result, chronic inflammations will improve.
Dispersion of substance p from the effects of shock wave in physiotherapy
Substance p sends pain information and is actually a neurotransmitter that transmits pain information to the brain through c fibers. By reducing this substance, the shockwave device stimulates the pain-causing fibers, and ultimately pain reduction occurs in the damaged tissues.
The waves from shock wave therapy reduce the concentration of substance p and lead to pain relief.
Growing new blood vessels
The growth of new blood vessels is one of the first and most important effects of shock wave in physiotherapy
When the sound waves hit the tissues of the treated points, it causes the tiny capillaries of that area to crack, and as a result of the stimulation of the shock waves, new arterioles are regenerated.
One of the effects of shock wave in physiotherapy is the growth of new blood vessels for better blood supply and oxygen supply to the treated area.
Effects of shock wave during physiotherapy treatment
Most of the patients for whom a doctor or physiotherapist prescribes shock wave therapy and undergo this treatment method immediately feel the effects of this treatment method and achieve a partial recovery.
Of course, it is worth mentioning that these types of effects are often due to the use of temporary anesthetic drugs that are used for some patients.
(For some patients, anesthetic drugs are used due to severe tissue irritation caused by shock waves)
In general, the effects of shock wave in physiotherapy with the aim of healing the damaged tissues will take a few days and patients will achieve significant recovery in less than two weeks.
Note that after the patient expresses his satisfaction and recovery, we must justify him to complete the treatment period because otherwise the possibility of pain returning and non-treatment will increase.
The level of safety of the shock wave therapy method
This technique has been used on patients in the field of physiotherapy for decades, and naturally, many patients have been tested and treated.
Shockwave therapy and its effects in physiotherapy have been widely used in Europe, and all patients who have undergone this treatment have not reported any side effects of shockwave therapy.
But among the side effects caused by the effects of shock wave in physiotherapy, we can mention a brief pain, redness or very slight bruising in some people.
But these side effects are very short-term and disappear after a few hours
(Note that these short-term side effects may occur in some diseases that require high-energy pulse waves)
The benefits of shock wave effects in physiotherapy
As it was said at the beginning of the article in the definition of shock wave therapy, this technique is considered a non-invasive treatment method and is used to treat many diseases.
The waves of shock wave therapy that treat damaged tissues are short and fast (faster than the speed of sound).
By sending high energy waves on the damaged tissues, they are restored and healed and will reduce and relieve the pain in the tissue.
Among other effects of shock wave in physiotherapy are sound waves that are placed on the surface of the skin with high energy and spread in the body and increase the metabolism in the place of injury and ultimately lead to the acceleration of the healing process and pain relief. will be.
How does shock wave therapy in physiotherapy cause more restoration and regeneration?
High-energy blows to the damaged tissues through shock wave therapy, with mechanical effects on the damaged tissue, can cause their repair and regeneration.
When the patient receives shockwave treatment, they suffer from very delicate skin tears due to shockwave impacts.
These tears are so small and microscopic that they cannot be seen with the naked eye.
In fact, the effects of shockwave in physiotherapy due to this tear are based on the release of substances that have the ability to repair and speed up the healing process of the injuries.
Shock wave therapy eliminates chronic inflammation in damaged tissues and by stimulating metabolism and increasing blood circulation and blood supply to damaged tissues, it speeds up the healing process.
Does shockwave therapy hurt?
During shock wave therapy, some patients complain to their physiotherapists about the pain caused by the shock waves, but the pain is not severe and can be tolerated.
Sometimes the pain is due to the beginning of the treatment and after a few minutes when the shock waves are applied to the treated area, the target tissue becomes numb and the initial pain feeling in the patient will disappear.
When starting the treatment or the shockwave device, the physiotherapist adjusts the size of the waves, which size depends on the patient’s tolerance level, and when the mechanism starts, the physiotherapist gradually increases the intensity of the energy pulses to the extent that the patient does not feel pain, or It increases the amount of pain he can bear.
After the session, the treatment area may become inflamed, which is completely normal and not worrying because, as mentioned, this problem is one of the short-term side effects that disappear after a few hours.
Effects of shock wave in physiotherapy after completion of treatment sessions
After completing the treatment sessions, if the treatment area is one of the bony skeletal areas such as the back and knee, the patient can easily bear his weight on the injured limb after the completion of the treatment period.
At the end of the sessions, the physiotherapist advises the patient to reduce his daily activities for a period of time (for example, 2 weeks) and do more strategies.
The effects of shockwave are very effective in the physiotherapy of patients with tendon problems and erosive pains such as Achilles tendonitis and heel spurs.