Two Type of Shockwave: Radial Shockwave Therapy and Focus Shockwave Therapy
Radial Shockave Therapy:
- Easy to administer
- Limited side effects
- Releases tension in muscles
- Break down inflammation
- Activate cellular healing
How does Radial Shockwave Work?
Radial shockwave is a pressure wave. The bullet in a chamber above shoots down a tube to hit the shockwave applicator. This causes an acoustic wave out of the tip of the ‘gun’. The applicator touches the skin and sound passes into the body via ultrasound gel. Most patients describe a snapping sensation on the skin and into the muscle. This snapping is often described like a rubber band being struck on the skin.
- Tight muscles are able to release and tension begins to fade. Treatment often targets the muscles for this reason. Even when treating tendons, doctors will apply this technique to the muscle.
Limitations of Radial Shockwave?
- More difficulty targeting deep tissue (hip joint)
- More painful on bone
- Not used or researched for some conditions (ED, vascular conditions)
- Requires limited knowledge to use (Overuse)
Focus Shockwave Therapy
Above is a good diagram that shows the different types of focus shockwaves. Although this type of technology is complicated, it is easy to see how focus shockwave differs from the radial shockwave.
Focus shockwaves are pointed and this ‘point’ is where the highest energy explodes. Focus shockwaves will bypass this skin and ‘explode’ at deeper levels.
Benefits of Focus Shockwave?
- Deep penetration
- Less painful on bone
- Treatment requires less shocks then radial shockwave
- More effective for bone, blood vessel growth
Limitations of Focus Shockwave?
- Requires expert clinician
- More potential side effects
- Can not be used on the thorax (middle back), gut, head
What do clinics use in Canada?
Why should I consider getting both radial and focus shockwave?
It also always best to get assessed to determine which type of treatment you will do best with. Sometimes, your condition will not need shockwave to get better. If appropriate, your therapist will educate what type of therapy is best! Advanced research suggests that combining these treatments could equal better outcomes. Scientists have found that combing shockwave with exercise is very important. Exercise is almost always recommended with shockwave.
How will I feel after the treatment?
Results do vary, but patients who get shockwave often describe immediate relief. The relief from pain will vary between patients. For some patients, relief is immediate. For other patients, the benefits from shockwave take longer to see.
In some instances, full healing can take 3-6 months to occur . This is why you patients go through a healing period. During this period, only physiotherapy will continue. No shockwave will be administered to allow for the treatment to work at the cellular level.
Benefits of Shockwaves?
- Remove inflammation
- Reduce pain by calling down nerves
- Increase blood flow by removing restrictions
- Regenerate cells and tissue
- Stimulate stem cell activity
As always, thanks for reading.