When it comes to chronic pain management, shockwave therapy is not something that you will hear every day. Extracorporeal Radial Shockwave Therapy (ERST), as it known in the medical field, is a process that utilizes shock waves to minimize pain and promote healing in areas of the body where soft tissue is damaged or injured. For those who are unfamiliar with the term, shock wave is easy to confuse or associate with electric shock, but it is different– shock waves are high-energy sound waves, which when used in therapy, has a success rate of over 80% for a variety of conditions. Shockwave therapy at Physioactive is one of the few private practices in Singapore that offers this non-invasive treatment. It is safe, effective, and the patient will feel the effects immediately after one to two sessions, with no risks or side effects. Nothing short of amazing – that’s shockwave therapy!
Being relatively new, not a lot of people are aware about shockwave therapy. This article will help answer your questions about the treatment and provide you with the information you need if you are considering getting shockwave therapy.
History of shockwave therapy – how it started
Extracorporeal Radial Shockwave Therapy was originally used in 1982 to treat kidney stones. Lower intensity shockwave dissolves kidney stones effectively and researchers soon found that if the power used for generatingthe shockwave is lowered at a certain level, it can also address orthopedic conditions and at the same time, induce healing and offer fast pain relief. Extensive studies were done on the subject and eventually, it became accepted by a lot of medical facilities in Singapore and all over the world.
What are the types of shockwave?
There are two types of shockwaves used in ERST. The first type is called focused shockwaves, which have a single pulse that capable of travelling quicker than the speed of sound through the medium it flows through. Focused shockwaves work by concentrating the shockwave energy on a specific point of the targeted tissue and through the device’s setting, it can adjust the depth of penetration and amount of energy applied to the targeted area. This type of shockwave requires a high level of skill to accurately identify the area to be treated, in order to prevent inflicting damage to the surrounding tissue and maximize the efficacy of the treatment.Radial shockwaves, on the other hand, have a lower energy level and slower rise time than focused shockwaves.
Where is it used?
Some of the disciplines that depend on shockwave therapy include podiatry, orthopedics, urology, physiotherapy, sports medicine, and even veterinary medicine. Itshows promising results in conditions related tobones, muscles, tendons, connective tissue, and neurological system.
Functioning as pain relief, radial shockwaves promote good blood circulation and fast formation of new blood vessels, which in turn, can significantly reduce the level of chemicals that make body structures susceptible to pain. Shockwaves also aid in tissue regeneration byaccelerating the growth of new collagen fibers and cells.And last but not the least, radial shockwave therapy is one of the few therapies that show positive results for cellulite reduction. For those who are looking for foolproof methods to reduce weight, that is definitely a bonus!
How is shockwave therapy applied?
The application of shockwave therapy is very simple and easy. It begins by identifying the location of the area to be treated using palpation. Palpation is a method that involves pressing on the surface of the body to feel the organs and tissues underneath. This is commonly used in examining pulses, bone fractures, joint dislocations, abdominal distension, and cardiac thrills. Once the therapist has located the precise location where the therapy will be delivered, the next step is the application of gel to the area. The third and final step is therapy initiation, where the shockwave device is applied to the treated area.
How many treatments are needed and how often do I need it?
The number of shockwave treatments mainly depend on the severity of a patient’s condition and their body’s response and tolerance to the treatment. It is important to note that the effect of the treatment is cumulative, so this means that a person will need about three to five treatments to see the desired results.In Singapore, most doctors advise patients to get three to five treatments done three to ten days apart.There is some good news, though: you will feel immediate pain relief as soon as the first treatment is done.
Will I feel pain during the treatment?
Not going to lie – shockwave therapy in Singapore can be uncomfortable. But do not worry because this is only temporary and the doctor or therapistwho is performing the treatment will do their best to make the process as comfortable as possible. The treatment also lasts about five minutes and based on experience, most patients at Physioactive were able to tolerate the discomfort. If the discomfort gets too much to handle, you can request for the intensity of the treatment to be adjusted accordingly.
Is shockwave therapy a replacement for surgery?
As a non-invasive treatment, the aim of shockwave therapy is to help the patient get treatment without surgery, and while it is highly effective at this, the response to the procedure still varies from one patient to the other. Surgery may be needed when all other treatment options have failed to achieve cure.
You should talk to your doctor about the treatment options for your conditionin order tofind which one is most suitable for you and why. Feel free to ask questions (no matter how silly and insignificant it is) during the initial consultation – it is your health and well-being on the line, after all!
If you need more details about shockwavetherapy, you can always contact Physioactive and we will be more than happy to assist you. We have two locations in Singapore that offer the treatment: one is the Orchard clinic near Gleneagles Hospital, and the other is in East Coast Road.
Camden Medical Centre
#11-05 Singapore 248649