Shockwave in the treatment of injured runners Insights from a doctor
Running injuries are a common problem for athletes and recreational runners. These injuries are often caused by overuse and an imbalance in tissue capacity and training load. In this article, we share the experiences and insights of an experienced physician who introduced shockwave therapy as an innovative approach to treating running injuries.
Common running injuries in the clinic
Among the types of running injuries treated in the clinical setting, overuse injuries such as chronic tendinopathy injuries and bone overuse injuries are the most common. Physicians report various tendon disorders, with the Achilles, hip, and proximal thigh tendons at the top of the list. In addition, conditions such as medial tibial stress syndrome are treated using focused shock wave therapy.
The uniqueness of running injuries
Running injuries have unique characteristics that distinguish them from injuries in other patient groups. 80% of running-related injuries are due to overuse, often resulting from an imbalance between tissue capacity and exercise intensity. Knees, legs, feet, and ankles are commonly affected. Beginners often suffer from knee pain, while experienced runners are more prone to chronic tendinopathies such as Achilles tendon or proximal thigh problems.
Integration of shockwave therapy
Acceptance of shock wave therapy in the treatment of running injuries began in 2015. Traditional approaches, such as strength training, have sometimes failed to address pain and facilitate a return to running for injured runners, and shockwave therapy has been shown to be a valuable evidence-based adjunctive technique to reduce pain and aid in early loading and progressive exercises such as plyometrics. appeared.
Clinical benefits of shock wave therapy
The doctor uses radial and focused shockwave therapy, each of which has distinct therapeutic benefits. Radial shockwave therapy is effective for superficial structures such as the Achilles tendon and plantar fascia. Focused shockwave therapy, on the other hand, is the preferred method for conditions such as shin splints, helping with bone regeneration and pain relief. The integration of shock wave therapy is effective and promising in accelerating the return to running for injured people.
Patient response and duration of treatment
Feedback from patients treated with the Shockwave device has been encouraging, particularly for those with Achilles and patellar tendinopathy. While radial and concentric shock wave therapy both produce positive results, conditions such as proximal hamstrings may require additional sessions (approximately 5-6). It is important for patients to recognize that shockwave therapy is not a quick fix and often requires a comprehensive recovery process of 12 to 16 weeks. Concurrent rehabilitation programs, along with shockwave sessions, play an essential role in ensuring long-term recovery.
Impact on clinical practice
Shockwave therapy has made significant changes in clinical practice. Runners who are eager to resume their activity have benefited from incorporating shock therapy into their treatment regimen. Studies have shown significant improvement when shockwave therapy is adjunct to tendon loading programs in chronic lower extremity tendinopathy. The important point is that shockwave therapy is not performed alone, but is accompanied by load management training, appropriate rehabilitation, and strength training and preparation to strengthen tissue capacity. Simplicity, speed and safety of implementing shock therapy have established its position in clinical practice.
Running injuries present a unique set of challenges that often require innovative approaches to treatment. Integrating shockwave therapy has emerged as a valuable adjunct in the management of these injuries, resulting in pain reduction, tissue recovery, and an early return of the runner to training. The experiences shared by this doctor emphasize the importance of a holistic approach that combines advanced treatments with training and rehabilitation for optimal results in the field of running-related injuries.