Shock Wave Therapy
This effective and gentle ambulatory therapy method has proven to be very successful for over 16 years with certain diseases and has become more and more accepted as the therapy of choice.
ESWT works with pressure pulses, the so-called shock waves. They are generated, for example, by devices with piezoelectric elements. There, certain quartz crystals (charged) cause mechanical oscillations. These shock waves propagate particularly well in environments containing water. This also includes the human body. If the shock waves hit a solid body with a significantly higher density than the body tissue, for example a stone in the ureter, they are reflected. The solid body absorbs the energy and thus promotes the development of tensile and compressive forces at the interface of tissue and solid state. In focused ESWT, several shock waves are bundled onto the target area. Thus, they are able to shatter the solid, e.g. to shatter a lime deposit. The lime fragments are then usually small enough to be absorbed by the body.
The shock wave application itself has so far not shown any harmful side effects, apart from possible short-term increases in pain, especially in calcification areas. The short-term increase in pain may be related to the activation of resorption processes in the pathological calcification area.
How is the outpatient treatment performed?
The patient lies on an examination couch in a supine, prone or lateral position. The treatment can be performed under local anesthesia. Based on the MRI images taken previously, the doctor locates exactly the region to be treated. The doctor places the shock wave head directly above the site in the exact position. Then 2000 impulses with slowly increasing signal strength of the focused ultrasound waves are administered. The patients can then immediately move and strain themselves normally. Usually, three treatments are sufficient. Only in a few cases are more sessions necessary.
Which diseases can be treated with shock wave therapy?
- Heel pain e.g. due to a heel spur
- Tennis elbow e.g. inflammation of the tendon insertions with and without calcareous deposits
- Hip joint pain e.g. due to inflammation when the tendon insertions are overloaded
- Knee joint pain e.g. due to inflammation of the patellar tendon
- Pain in the Achilles tendon, e.g. due to inflammation or deposits in the Achilles tendon
- Shoulder pain e.g. due to calcification or inflammation of the tendon or joint capsule