San Antonio, TX – Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy (ESWT), a noninvasive treatment to promote healing and relieve pain, has arrived in South Texas at the Non-Surgical Center of Texas.
Sports medicine physician Dr. Annette Zaharoff has added shock wave therapy to the coterie of regenerative medicine treatments she offers to professional and amateur athletes, weekend warriors and anyone looking for relief from joint pain and musculoskeletal injuries.
Shock wave therapy in medicine has been around for decades. It was first used in the early 1980’s as a noninvasive, safe, and fairly painless treatment known as lithotripsy to break up kidney stones. Along the way, researchers discovered that these shock waves, more correctly referred to as focused shock wave therapy, have the potential for numerous clinical applications. Researchers demonstrated the use of Focused ESWT to reduce pain, accelerate tissue healing, and promote repair and regeneration in bone, tendon, ligament, and fascia in patients with musculoskeletal injuries.
Sports medicine and pain management clinicians in Europe have used it for decades and it has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of plantar fasciitis. With multiple high-quality randomized clinical trials, there is now substantial evidence that Focused ESWT is a safe and effective noninvasive option to treat injuries of the muscles, joints, and tendons from head to toe. Dr. Zaharoff is one of the first physicians in South Texas to introduce the device into her practice for the non-surgical treatment of pain and injury.
How it works: High-energy acoustic waves are produced inside a handheld applicator. These high energy waves break down tissue and promote healing and repair. Focused ESWT is the transcutaneous application of these acoustic waves transmitted in a narrow or focused pattern. The waves can penetrate 12-15 cm to a focal point outside of the applicator to target the tissues at the injury site.
Focused shock waves alter the chemical balance in the body in a way that elevates nitrous oxide levels, also known as laughing gas, which is an important cellular signaling molecule that complements the body’s healing process. Shock waves can accelerate the healing process in the body, stimulating the metabolism and improving blood circulation to help damaged tissue regenerate and heal.
Numerous research studies have shown promising results in the effective utilization of focused shock waves to treat heel pain, shin pain, knee pain, hip pain, hamstring pain, shoulder pain, spine pain and many more conditions.
A shoulder pain study by researchers in Heidelberg, German of 35 patients, with an average age of 48 years old, found more than a fourth of the group reported being pain free within a month of shock wave therapy, and more than 80 percent were pain free within a year. All these patients had been suffering from shoulder pain for more than two years before the treatment.
A 2007 study published in the American Journal of Sports Medicine involving orthopedists from Germany, England and the United States looked at shock wave therapy versus more traditional therapies for knee pain. Researchers wrote: “Extracorporeal shockwave therapy appeared to be more effective and safer than traditional conservative treatments in the management of patients with chronic patellar tendinopathy.”
In some cases, it may take three to four sessions to achieve the desired results. Some possible side effects that normally disappear within 10 days include reddening, swelling, and bruising.
“As the name of our clinic clearly states, I’m always interested in safe, non-surgical options to help patients heal,” Dr. Zaharoff said. “I’m also especially interested in the applications for shock wave therapy in improving the effectiveness of Regenerative Injection therapies such as Prolotherapy and Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) Therapy.”
Dr. Zaharoff is president of the International Association for Regenerative Therapy, or IART, an advocacy group for regenerative medicine. IART’s mission is to teach globally, certify professionals in Prolotherapy and other regenerative medicine treatments – including PRP injections– and to share innovative techniques to treat pain and relieve suffering.
Interested in learning more about how shockwave therapy can help you? Visit www.drZmd.com or call the clinic at 210-616-0646 for a consultation appointment.