Shock waves

What are shock waves?

Shock waves are high-powered acoustic waves that have mechanical and biological effects. Applied correctly, they have a therapeutic effect, since they cause a regeneration of diseased or injured tissues.

Why is it performed?

Although shock waves have multiple therapeutic benefits, this type of treatment is mainly used for the treatment of diseases that require tissue regeneration.

Thus, the therapeutic properties of shock waves are the new creation of new blood vessels, collagen production, elimination of trigger points, elimination of calcification and treatment of chronic inflammation.

Among the most recurrent are the treatment of chronic pain, such as shoulder or hip pain, calcifications, plantar fasciitis, chronic tendinopathy or jumper’s knee.

What does it consist of?

The application of shock waves is a simple and minimally invasive treatment. The session consists of 3 phases:

  1. First, the specialist will palpate to more precisely locate the area to be treated with shock waves.
  2. Next, gel will be applied to the area to allow the shock waves to pass through more efficiently.
  3. Finally, the shockwave applicator is used on the area. This is a device by means of which the specialist must press and apply the waves manually.

Shock waves are widely used in cases of chronic joint pain, such as shoulder pain.

Normally, shock wave treatments require 3 to 5 sessions, which would be performed a few days apart, between 3 and 10 days, depending on the tolerance and response of each patient. Even so, the improvement of pain starts from the first session.

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Preparation for shock waves

Shock waves do not require special preparation on the part of the patient, since it is not an invasive treatment and no anesthesia is required.

Aftercare after the procedure

After shock wave sessions, patients are advised to avoid physical exercise for the next 48 hours, especially that which affects or involves the treated area.

Some people may experience slight pain after the session, which subsides within 2 to 4 hours.

Alternatives to this treatment

In addition to shock waves, there are other therapies indicated for the treatment of chronic pain, some of them such as acupuncture, hyaluronic acid infiltrations, platelet-rich plasma, the application of heat or cold, or hydrotherapy, among others.