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.
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.
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.