Focal shock wave ultrasound-guided treatment

Shock wave therapy is a safe and non-invasive technique frequently applied in sports medicine, podiatry and rehabilitation. It is indicated in multiple pathologies of the musculoskeletal system such as chronic tendinopathies, calcifications, plantar fasciitis (with or without spur), epicondylopathies, painful syndromes, pseudoarthrosis, bone fractures with delayed consolidation, among others.

Focal shock wave therapy allows us to cure pathologies that previously only had a surgical solution and also allows the patient to dispense with painkillers. It also makes possible a faster recovery and considerably alleviates chronic and acute pain.

What are shock waves?

Focal shock waves are mechanical stimuli in the form of acoustic waves with high energy peaks. They are generated by electromagnetic induction and propagate linearly, i.e. they are directed towards a single point, thus producing low energy dispersion and exerting high pressure (between 100 and 1,000 bar).

Through these pressure changes in the tissues, a physiological principle called mechano-transduction occurs, triggering different biological responses:

  • Tissue regeneration, stimulating collagen production, increased blood supply and reversal of chronic inflammation.
  • Analgesic effect, on innervation (decrease of pathological nociceptive nerve endings by release of endorphins and by saturation of factor P), producing an increase in mobility and joint function.
  • Vascular effects, (neoangiogenesis, with increase and homogenization of vessels). The formation of small blood vessels that will improve vascularization in the area.
  • Fragmentation of calcifications. It is produced by the mechanical effect of the waves on the calcium deposits by means of dynamic tensile forces in the calcium stratum itself.
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What are shock waves used for?

In our clinic shock waves are most frequently used to treat and care for the following pathologies: Shock waves for spur To treat this type of condition we take into consideration the size of the spur, the degree of sensitivity of the patient, we measure ultrasound the size of the plantar fascia and its involvement, ie if it is thickened or inflamed, comparing both fasciae of both feet.

It is also necessary to pay attention to the depth level at which we are going to launch the impulses with our piezoelectric probe, in order to correctly choose the piece that we will attach to our Piezo Wave 4 probe. In this way, we will schedule the sessions for the treatment, the number of impacts that we will perform per session and their intensity.

Our extensive experience makes us estimate that for this type of treatment, 3 to 5 sessions of about 2,000-2,500 impacts are necessary to achieve pain relief. This therapy has a high success rate, depending on the pathology we have reached 90% success rate as in the case of calcifications.

Shockwave therapy for plantar fasciitis

The shockwave treatments that we apply in our clinic have effects at various levels, which causes the pain is reduced and inflammation subsides. As the inflammation is reduced, growth cells are released and stem cells are stimulated in the tissues, causing them to repair and heal until they heal completely in most cases.

To achieve these results, the treatment should be the same as in the case of the spur, establishing the number of sessions depending on the state in which the fascia is, with one session per week.

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Shock waves for calcifications

Calcium accumulation is often caused by micro-tears or trauma to the tendons. The focal shock wave therapy we provide in our clinic allows the acoustic waves to destroy the calcifications present.

The decalcification of the accumulated calcium is started by a biochemical process that makes it reach the consistency similar to toothpaste and thus treats the tendon.

The calcium particles in the form of granules are subsequently expelled through the lymphatic system.

Echoguided focal shockwaves with diathermy

This type of combined treatment in addition to the effects of shock waves consists of increasing the temperature of the body tissues through an intense electric field, which causes the circulation to increase, improves the metabolism and thus the tissues are regenerated as soon as possible.

Contraindications

This type of treatment may cause mild side effects such as:

  • Discomfort or pain during or after treatment.
  • Reddened skin.
  • Inflammation, petechiae or numbness in the skin of the treated area.

These consequences usually disappear about 36 hours after treatment.

Do shock waves hurt?

The pain caused by this type of treatment is completely bearable for most patients. It is usually a little more painful in those areas where there is a greater accumulation of adipose tissue.

Price of shock waves

The price of a shockwave session will vary according to the equipment used, depending on whether it is focal or radial as well as the number of impacts needed for the treatment. For the use of a focal equipment, it is essential to have an ultrasound treatment.

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It will not be the same to use a focal equipment with a Piezoelectric probe, than an equipment using an electromagnetic probe. Thus the prices range from 50 € to 100 €.