ESWT Acoustic Wave Therapy
The application of extracorporeal shockwave therapy (ESWT) in musculoskeletal disorders has been around for more than a decade and is primarily used in the treatment of sports related over-use tendinopathies such as proximal plantar fasciitis of the heel, lateral epicondylitis of the elbow, calcific or non-calcific tendonitis of the shoulder and patellar tendinopathy etc.
The procedure calls for 1000s of shockwaves on and around the treatment area, improving blood flow by stimulating the production of new blood vessels (angiogenesis) and nerve cells (neurogenesis). This is accomplished through the microtraumas created by the focused waves and the healthy inflammation the body generates that follows. This results in the “waking up” dormant stem cells and growth factors to the treated area. The success rates for ESWT have ranged from 65% to 91% depending on the cause of the inflammation:
- Previous trauma
- Obesity or excess visceral fat
- Increased oxidative stress due to mitochondrial dysfunction
Additionally, the complications were low and negligible. ESWT is also utilized in the treatment of:
- non-union of long bone fracture,
- avascular necrosis of femoral head,
- chronic diabetic and non-diabetic ulcers and
- ischemic heart disease.
The vast majority of the published papers have demonstrated positive and beneficial effects. In 2000, the FDA (USA) first approved ESWT for the treatment of proximal plantar fasciitis and lateral epicondylitis in 2002. ESWT is a novel non-invasive therapeutic modality without surgery or surgical risks. The clinical application of ESWT have been steadily increasing every year since it was first approved.