Shoulder calcification, also known as calcific tendinitis, occurs when calcium deposits accumulate in the tendons of the shoulder, particularly within the rotator cuff tendons, potentially resulting in pain and restricted shoulder mobility.
This condition can arise from a variety of factors, such as aging, gender, genetics, metabolic influences, and shoulder stress.
Common signs and symptoms of shoulder issues include:
- Sharp or persistent pain, often worsened by specific movements.
- Limited range of motion, making it challenging to lift the arm and causing shoulder stiffness.
- Weakened ability to lift objects.
- Nighttime shoulder pain that disrupts sleep.
- Tenderness when the shoulder area is touched.
Traditional Treatment Options for Shoulder Calcification
Before diving into the effectiveness of SoftWave therapy, it’s important to understand the traditional treatment options for shoulder calcification. These options include:
- Rest and Physical Therapy: Resting the shoulder and undergoing physical therapy exercises can help reduce pain and improve mobility. Physical therapy may include stretching, strengthening exercises, and range of motion exercises.
- Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs): Over-the-counter NSAIDs, such as ibuprofen, can help reduce inflammation and alleviate pain associated with shoulder calcification.
- Corticosteroid Injections: Corticosteroid injections may be administered directly into the affected area to reduce inflammation and provide temporary pain relief.
- Ultrasound-Guided Needle Aspiration: In some cases, a needle may be used to aspirate and remove the calcium deposits from the shoulder tendons.
While these treatments can provide relief for some individuals, they may not always be effective in resolving shoulder calcification and providing long-term pain relief.
Shockwave Therapy for Shoulder Calcification:
Shockwave therapy, also known as Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy or ESWT, is a non-invasive therapeutic method that employs high-intensity acoustic waves to initiate the body’s innate healing mechanisms. Shockwave therapy has become increasingly popular in recent years owing to its capability to address a range of musculoskeletal and soft tissue disorders such as tennis elbow, plantar fasciitis, chronic and acute shoulder pain, and shoulder calcification.
How Shockwave Therapy Works
Shockwave therapy is particularly effective for treating shoulder calcification because it can break up the calcium deposits, promoting faster healing. Here’s shockwave therapy’s mechanism of action for shoulder calcification:
- Mechanical Stress: The shockwaves create mechanical stress on the calcified deposits in the shoulder. This stress disrupts the calcification, breaking it down into smaller particles.
- Neovascularization: Shockwave therapy also stimulates the formation of new blood vessels in the affected area, which can enhance the body’s natural healing processes.
- Pain Reduction: It also has a pain-relieving effect by altering pain perception and reducing inflammation.
Advantages of Shockwave Therapy
Shockwave offers several advantages for individuals with shoulder calcification:
- Non-Invasive: Shockwave is a non-invasive treatment option that does not require incisions or anesthesia. This makes it a safe and comfortable alternative to surgical interventions.
- Safe and Minimal Side Effects: Shockwave is generally considered safe, and the risk of side effects is minimal. Some individuals may experience mild discomfort during the treatment, but this typically subsides quickly.
- Targeted Treatment: Shockwave therapy delivers shockwaves directly to the affected shoulder tendons, providing targeted treatment and potentially enhancing the effectiveness of the therapy.
- Stimulates Natural Healing: Shockwave stimulates the body’s natural healing processes, promoting the breakdown of calcium deposits and the regeneration of healthy tissues.
- Reduced Need for Medications: Shockwave may reduce the need for pain medications or other pharmaceutical interventions, offering a drug-free treatment option for shoulder calcification.