If you’re a pre-teen susceptible to those gnarly growing pains, an elderly person suffering from arthritis or simply reeling from an orthopaedic injury of any sort, we’ve got some great news for you! You no longer have to live with the pain, discomfort and/or potential loss of muscle function to get better. Nor do you have to worry about the risks and recovery period of complicated surgeries. Science has given you the gift of shockwave therapy – a safe, effective and completely non-invasive bone treatment with numerous advantages over more conservative efforts.
For the uninitiated, shockwave therapy – also known as Focused (High-Energy) Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy – essentially throws multiple, short bursts of acoustic waves on an injury, through a treatment ‘head’ – to stimulate recovery. The energy waves break through any scar tissues that might be impeding recovery, thereby boosting vascular generation and generating greater blood flow to the injured area. In other words, it is a scientific method that utilizes your body’s own natural healing process.
If you’re still not sure whether this is something you would like to try out, don’t worry! It is but natural to be a tad bit apprehensive when trying out a new medical procedure. To make the choice easier for you, we have compiled this list of eight key benefits of shockwave therapy treatment that might make you reconsider. These include:
Like we said earlier, you need not worry about having to undergo surgery. Shockwave therapy requires no incisions on your skin, nerves, tendons or soft tissues. As such, the risk of infections or scars, etc, is reduced to zero. In fact, you need not even go to a hospital – your treatment can easily be done in the doctor’s clinic!
Zero Recovery Time
It is like lunchtime orthopaedic treatment: you can resume routine activities almost immediately! Granted, your therapist will ask you to avoid any strenuous or high-impact work for the next couple of weeks but otherwise, you will be good to go. In fact, it is advisable to try light exercises while undergoing shockwave therapy so your muscles do not weaken.
Also, not having to be taken into surgery spares you the emotional and financial stresses of boots, braces, pains and immobility, etc. Shockwave therapy is ideal for those who do want to get better on the go! It is especially useful for patients who are due to travel soon.
Easy On The Pocket
Believe it or not, this revolutionary new treatment costs less than half of an average orthopaedic surgery. The latter can be very heavy on the pocket, what with medication, doctor’s fees and pre-op and post-op care. Not to mention, the additional cost of missing out on work while in the hospital and the assistance you will likely need after the surgery. These ancillary costs of surgery add up over time, making shockwave therapy the most cost-effective option for patients on a budget.
History lends credence to the greatness of shockwave therapy. In the 30+ years since its inception, not one serious or long-term complication has been recorded as a result of the procedure. Yes, you might encounter minor issues like redness, swelling or excessive tingling but rest assured, these will subside in a day or two.
The one thing to remember is that if this particular form of therapy does not work, it just won’t work and there is unlikely to be any reason for it. You might as well give it a shot since it has no risks whatsoever.
No Need For Opioids
This may sound too good to be true but shockwave therapy does not include any pain medication before or after. You will notice a significant reduction in your surgery immediately after the first session that will continue as your treatment progresses. We say keep at it!
Look at it this way: Since you aren’t being operated on, you do not need any opioids, which often come with side effects of their own. Shockwave therapy thereby reduces the risk of nausea, constipation, insomnia or drowsiness, all of which can seriously disrupt your life.
High Success Rates
This FDA-approved orthopaedic treatment has an efficacy rate of nearly 94%. This means that almost everyone who undergoes shockwave therapy sees results sooner or later. Even studies using less intense shockwaves and different protocols are 75% successful! Need we say more?
To Sum It Up
While shockwave therapy is indeed very effective, you must bear in mind that comparing it directly to surgery is not always as easy. The results of the latter are based on patient and doctor experiences, while the former is more evidence-based. Which is better for you, surgery or shockwave therapy will ultimately depend on the extent of your injury.