Shockwave Therapy in St. Louis

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Shockwave Therapy

Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy (ESWT)

Revolutionizing Pain Management in St. Louis with Shockwave Therapy

We are proud to introduce cutting-edge shockwave therapy, also known as extracorporeal shockwave therapy (ESWT), to our suite of chiropractic services in St. Louis. This innovative treatment is a non-invasive solution, ideal for addressing chronic tendon conditions such as plantar fasciitis, rotator cuff injuries, hip pain, and tennis elbow.

What is Shockwave Therapy?

Shockwave therapy is an advanced treatment approach utilizing high-energy acoustic sound waves to promote healing and reduce pain. It's becoming a preferred method for treating tendon injuries and tendinosis, a common condition involving collagen degeneration in tendons due to chronic overuse. The energy produced from shockwaves stimulates the body's natural healing process, promoting tissue regeneration. Shockwave therapy is a safe and non-invasive treatment option that typically only takes about 10 minutes to administer.

Radial Shockwave Therapy vs. Focused Shockwave Therapy

Radial Shockwave Therapy vs. Focused Shockwave Therapy

There are two types of extracorporeal shockwave therapy (ESWT): 

Focused shockwaves are generated inside the applicator, then concentrated by a lens, and transmitted into the tissue. These focused shockwaves travel more like a beam, penetrating deeper into tissues. In addition to treating musculoskeletal conditions, focused shockwaves are commonly used in treating kidney stones and certain types of bone fractures.

Radial shockwaves are generated by accelerating a projectile through a tube using compressed air. The energy created by the acoustic waves penetrates the skin into tissues using a special applicator. Radial shockwaves spread over a larger area and are typically only used to treat tendon injuries and myofascial pain. In particular, radial shockwave has the most evidence supporting its use for plantar fasciitis, lateral epicondylitis (Golfer's elbow), Achilles tendonitis, shoulder tendon pain, and jumper knee.

To summarize, both forms of shockwave therapy can be used to treat musculoskeletal pain successfully. However, focused shockwave therapy should be considered for deeper tissues, especially to treat kidney stones. Radial shockwave is a less expensive alternative to treat tendons successfully.

Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy (ESWT) vs. Extracorporeal Pulse Activation Technology (EPAT)

EPAT (Extracorporeal Pulse Activation Technology) is often considered a more advanced form of ESWT (Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy). However, both EPAT and traditional ESWT are non-invasive treatments using shockwaves to treat various musculoskeletal conditions. The primary difference lies in the technology and type of waves used, with EPAT shockwave therapy being the modern iteration of ESWT, offering a gentler approach with similar therapeutic benefits.

Softwave Therapy

Softwave therapy, also known as Low-Intensity Shockwave Therapy, produces lower-intensity waves compared to traditional shockwave therapy. Both softwave therapy and shockwave therapy are used to treat tendon and myofascial injuries such as plantar fasciitis. However, shockwave therapy currently has more robust clinical evidence supporting its effectiveness. The choice between the two should be made in consultation with a healthcare professional, considering factors such as the severity of the condition, sensitivity, and response to previous treatments.

Shockwave Treatment

Conditions Treated with Shockwave Therapy

The following conditions have the most success of being successfully treated by shockwave therapy:

  • Plantar Fasciitis: Relieve foot pain effectively.
  • Achilles Tendinitis: Heel pain therapy.
  • Rotator Cuff Tendinosis: Aid in shoulder rehabilitation.
  • Tennis Elbow: Address elbow pain and improve joint function.
  • Patellar Tendinitis: Therapy for jumper knee.
  • Hip Pain: Greater trochanteric pain syndrome recovery.

In addition, shockwave therapy has shown promising results in treating other musculoskeletal conditions, such as myofascial pain syndrome and arthritis.

Shock Wave Therapy for Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis can be a crippling condition that causes severe pain in the bottom of the foot, typically near the heel. Every step can cause pain, especially first thing in the morning or after periods of rest. Plantar fasciitis is challenging to deal with and equally hard for doctors to treat. Most people attempt stretching and strengthening physical therapy along with orthotics and still get little to no relief.

Shockwave therapy is quickly becoming the preferred treatment for plantar fasciitis due to it being non-invasive and providing excellent results. Several studies have even shown that shockwave therapy is superior to corticosteroid injections for plantar fasciitis pain relief.

How Much Does Shockwave Therapy Cost in St. Louis?

The price of shockwave therapy can range widely due to the different types and energy levels. For example, shockwave therapy in St. Louis may range between $50-300 per session. Machines that produce higher energy shockwaves are more expensive and, therefore, cost more for patients receiving treatment. As a consumer, it’s important to understand your specific condition and which type and intensity of shockwave therapy would be best for you.

Radial shockwave therapy using EPAT (Extracorporeal Pulse Activation Technology) is an excellent choice for treating chronic tendon and myofascial conditions such as plantar fasciitis. O’Guin Wellness Chiropractic & Physical Therapy uses the Storz Ortho Pulse Ultra 100 radial shockwave therapy. This machine offers a variety of intensity ranges suitable for treating acute and chronic tendon conditions at an affordable price ($75-90 per session).

Chiropractic Shockwave Therapy

How Does Shockwave Therapy Work?

Shockwave therapy, also known as extracorporeal shockwave therapy, involves the application of high-energy acoustic waves to the injured area. These sound waves are not electrical shocks, but rather focused energy "shockwaves" generated by a device and transmitted to the targeted tissues in the body.

When these high-energy waves are applied to an injured area, several biological responses are triggered:

  • Neovascularization: This is the process of forming new blood vessels. The shockwaves induce microtrauma to the tissue, which stimulates the release of growth factors such as Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor (VEGF) and Fibroblast Growth Factor (FGF). These factors promote the formation of new blood vessels, improving blood supply and oxygenation, and thus facilitating the healing process.
  • Cell Proliferation and Repair: The waves stimulate the proliferation of cells that are crucial for tissue healing, such as tenocytes in tendons. This leads to the accelerated regeneration of damaged tissue.
  • Breaking Down Calcifications and Scar Tissue: In chronic conditions, shockwave therapy can help break down calcifications and scar tissue, improving mobility and reducing pain.

Why Choose Shockwave Therapy at O'Guin Wellness in St. Louis?

  1. Non-Invasive Treatment: A pain-free alternative to surgical interventions.
  2. Quick Sessions: Each session lasts only about 10 minutes, easily fitting into your busy schedule.
  3. Effective Relief: Clinically proven to improve tendinosis conditions like plantar fasciitis, tennis elbow, and rotator cuff injuries.
  4. Experienced Practitioners: Our chiropractic team in St. Louis is highly trained in delivering customized shockwave therapy treatments.

What Does Shockwave Therapy Feel Like?

Shockwave therapy, often used for treating musculoskeletal conditions, typically feels like a series of quick, repetitive taps or pulses against the skin and underlying tissues. Some people describe the sensation as being similar to a massage gun but deeper, more profound, and more targeted. These sensations can range from mild to moderately uncomfortable, depending on the intensity of the treatment and the individual's pain tolerance. The goal is for it to feel somewhat intense, however tolerable, and targeting the "right spot."

How Long Does A Shockwave Therapy Session Take?

Shockwave therapy sessions are typically brief, lasting only about 10 minutes per session. This duration allows for the targeted delivery of shockwaves to the affected area, which is sufficient to stimulate the healing process without causing undue discomfort. The therapy is usually administered in a series of sessions, depending on the condition being treated and the individual's response to the therapy. The short duration of each session makes shockwave therapy a convenient treatment option for many patients, fitting easily into busy schedules.

How Many Sessions of Shockwave Therapy Are Needed?

Shockwave therapy typically requires a series of sessions for effectiveness. The exact number of sessions varies depending on the specific condition and the individual's response to treatment. Generally, patients may undergo between 3 to 8 sessions, with each session spaced about a week apart. It's important to note that some patients might experience relief after just a few treatments, while others may need the full course to achieve significant improvement. As with any medical treatment, it's crucial to follow the guidance of a healthcare professional who can tailor the therapy to the individual's needs.

Shockwave Therapy vs. Cortisone Injections

Several recent studies have revealed that shockwave therapy provides more long-term pain relief and functional strength gains than corticosteroid injections. The following links to medical research journals demonstrate the superior benefits of shockwave therapy for plantar fasciitis, lateral epicondylitis (tennis elbow), and shoulder pain.

The most significant advantage that shockwave therapy has over injections is that it is non-invasive with a low risk of complications. Additionally, it stimulates a natural healing process rather than potentially weakening the tendon over time. The drawback to shockwave therapy is that several sessions may be needed; typically, 4-8 sessions are required for ultimate results. Corticosteroid injections seem to give quicker pain relief. However, shockwave therapy provides a longer-term solution if you invest the time.

Deciding between shockwave therapy or injection is often a personal decision, and consulting with a healthcare practitioner to weigh the pros and cons is recommended.

Shockwave Therapy vs. Ultrasound

While shockwave therapy and ultrasounds are both non-invasive methods for treating various musculoskeletal conditions, their underlying principles and applications differ significantly. Shockwave therapy employs high-energy acoustic waves that trigger biological effects, which lead to faster tissue repair and cell growth. Ultrasound, on the other hand, uses much lower-energy sound waves to generate heat. The heat generated by ultrasounds promotes blood flow, which helps tissues feel better temporarily. However, shockwave therapy stimulates the growth of new vascular pathways, providing a much longer-term value.

The evidence supporting shockwave therapy for muscle and tendon injuries is much more robust than ultrasound. Some studies have questioned the efficacy of ultrasound in treating musculoskeletal conditions, suggesting that its benefits are limited and inconsistent.

In summary, while both therapies have their uses in physical therapy, shockwave therapy currently has stronger evidence supporting its effectiveness in the treatment and management of tendon-related pain and injuries.

Pro Athletes' Choice: Shockwave Therapy for Rapid Injury Recovery

Numerous professional sports teams across different sports have adopted shockwave therapy as part of their medical treatment options for athletes. This therapy is favored due to its non-invasive nature and effectiveness in treating various musculoskeletal conditions, particularly those related to tendons, ligaments, and other soft tissues. Professional sports teams that utilize shockwave therapy for their athletes include MLB, NBA, and NFL. Additionally, many professional golfers, tennis players, and Olympic athletes use shockwave therapy for its ability to help them recover from injuries quickly.

Shockwave Therapy Side Effects

Shockwave therapy, commonly used for treating conditions like plantar fasciitis, tendinitis, and other musculoskeletal disorders, is considered extremely safe and non-invasive. There can be some pain or discomfort during the quick session; however, the intensity can usually be lowered upon request. After a session, some people may experience swelling, redness, or bruising that may last a few days. Less commonly, some patients may experience minor skin damage such as blisters or even temporary muscle weakness due to fatigue. It's important to note that the severity and occurrence of these side effects can vary depending on the individual, the condition being treated, and the intensity of the shockwave therapy. Always consult a healthcare professional for personalized advice and treatment options.

Can Shockwave Therapy Cause Damage?

Shockwave therapy is a non-invasive treatment often used for musculoskeletal conditions; however, it may not be suitable for everyone. For example, patients with bleeding or blood clotting disorders have an increased risk of bleeding when using shockwave therapy.

Shockwave therapy should not be used directly over the site of certain conditions. For example, it is contraindicated to use shockwave therapy directly over infections, malignancies or cancerous areas, nerve disorders, deep vein thrombosis (DVT), and growth plates in children. Additionally, shockwave therapy should not be used over the abdomen or lower back in women during pregnancy.

How to Enhance the Benefits of Shockwave Therapy

In addition to shockwave therapy, a few other strategies lead to much greater success. Shockwave therapy is incredible and can drastically enhance healing. However, the following are essential for getting ultimate results.

  1. Progressively loading the tendons to make them stronger. Tendons are made from collagen, and they're similar to rope fibers. When there are more fibers that are densely packed, they are strong and durable. When fibers are frail and loose, they are weak and prone to re-injury. Consistently loading the tendons in the correct ranges causes adaptation, which will enhance the quality of the tendon.
  2. Individualized rehabilitation or physical therapy. In addition to local exercises for the tendon, it's valuable to discover your personal areas restrictions or instabilities. Improving overall posture and enhancing whole-body movements is imperative for a holistic approach.
  3. Manual therapies. Additional treatments that complement shockwave therapy include myofascial release, cupping, acupuncture, and physical therapy.

Top-rated Shockwave Therapy in St. Louis

Book Your Shockwave Therapy Session in St. Louis Today

Ready to experience the benefits of shockwave therapy in St. Louis? Contact O'Guin Wellness now to schedule your consultation and take the first step towards pain-free living. Call us at 314-822-5300 or book online.

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