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Shockwave Therapy Side Effects


In recent years, shockwave therapy has gained popularity for its potential in treating various medical conditions. However, as with any medical procedure, it is vital to comprehend the shockwave therapy side effects, risks, and contraindications. This non-invasive treatment utilizes acoustic waves to target specific body areas, demonstrating promising results. Yet, understanding the side effects and risks before undergoing treatment is of utmost importance. This blog will serve as a guide to shockwave therapy, its working mechanism, and a detailed analysis of its associated side effects, risks, and contraindications.


Understanding Shockwave Therapy

Shockwave Therapy Side Effects, Risks, & Contraindications


Extracorporeal shock wave therapy (ESWT), commonly known as shockwave therapy, is a non-invasive treatment that involves the use of acoustic waves to treat various musculoskeletal conditions such as plantar fasciitis, calcific shoulder tendinitis, and tennis elbow. A common question that arises is, “How safe is shockwave therapy?” Generally, shockwave therapy is considered safe, with most patients experiencing only minor side effects like temporary pain, swelling, or bruising. However, as with any medical treatment, some potential risks and contraindications need to be considered, which will be discussed later in this blog.

How Does Shockwave Therapy Work?

Now, let’s delve into the mechanism of action of shockwave therapy. It involves generating shockwaves outside the body and transmitting them to the targeted treatment area. These shockwaves induce controlled microtrauma in the targeted tissue, which in turn triggers the body’s natural healing response. This response includes an increase in blood flow to the area, stimulation of collagen production, and the breakdown of calcium deposits. Collectively, these processes promote healing, reduce pain, and improve function.

What does Shockwave Therapy Feel Like?

The experience of undergoing shockwave therapy can vary from person to person, but typically, one might feel a series of rapid, intense pulses or ‘thumps’ against the skin. While it may cause some discomfort, it is generally not considered painful, and the intensity can be adjusted to ensure comfort during the treatment. Learn more about what shockwave therapy feels like

Risks Associated with Shockwave Therapy

Although shockwave therapy is widely considered safe and non-invasive, there are some associated risks:

  • Pain and Discomfort: Patients may experience pain or discomfort during or after the treatment. This is usually temporary and often subsides within a few days.
  • Swelling and Bruising: The treated area may swell or develop bruises. This is typically a short-term side effect and resolves within a few days to a week.
  • Increase in Pain: Some individuals might experience a temporary increase in pain immediately following the treatment.

Contraindications: Who Should Avoid Shockwave Therapy?

There are certain individuals and situations where shockwave therapy is not recommended:

  • Pregnancy: Due to unknown effects on the fetus, it is not recommended for pregnant women.
  • Bleeding Disorders: Individuals with bleeding disorders or those on anticoagulant medication should avoid this treatment, as it may lead to increased bleeding risk.
  • Cancer: Individuals with cancer, particularly at the treatment site, should not undergo shockwave therapy as it may promote tumor growth.

Other reasons for ineligibility include having a pacemaker, as the shockwaves may interfere with its function. In most cases, SoftWave therapy is still safe so long as the treatment area is 8 – 10 inches away from the pacemaker or defibrillator. A shockwave provider near you can help you determine the best course of treatment.

What To Do If You Experience Shockwave Side Effects?

While undergoing shockwave therapy, it’s common to experience some transient side effects. These are typically minor and can often be treated with simple home care remedies. For example, mild pain, swelling, or bruising at the treatment site can usually be managed by applying a cold pack to the area and taking over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen. However, it’s crucial to know when home care is sufficient and when it’s necessary to seek medical help. If the pain becomes severe, the swelling increases significantly, or if any other unusual symptoms occur, it’s essential to consult your healthcare provider immediately for a thorough assessment and appropriate guidance.

SoftWave Therapy: The Gentler and More Effective Shockwave Therapy

SoftWave therapy is a revolutionary approach to shockwave therapy that offers a gentler yet highly effective treatment for soft tissue injuries and chronic pain. Unlike traditional shockwave therapy, SoftWave therapy utilizes patented low-intensity, unfocused shockwaves, making it stand out as a groundbreaking option for tissue regeneration, providing a versatile solution for a range of medical conditions.

In comparison to other forms of shockwave therapy, SoftWave therapy offers a more comfortable experience. For instance, focused therapy, while effective, can be discomforting and require anesthesia due to its concentrated and intense nature. SoftWave therapy, on the other hand, uses unfocused shockwaves that cover a broader and deeper area of tissue, resulting in improved tissue regeneration without the need for anesthesia. For this reason, SoftWave stands out as the only true unfocused shockwave in the market for broader and deeper tissue coverage. This makes the treatment process more patient-friendly and accessible.

Below are some of the benefits of SoftWave therapy:

  • Brief Treatment Sessions: SoftWave therapy’s unfocused shockwaves cover a larger area of tissue, enabling shorter treatment sessions. This means patients spend less time undergoing therapy while still receiving effective tissue regeneration.
  • Swift Recovery: With its gentle yet powerful approach, SoftWave therapy promotes quicker recovery times. Patients can resume their regular activities sooner after treatment, contributing to a more convenient healing process.
  • Enduring Results: SoftWave therapy is nationally acclaimed for its ability to deliver lasting results. By utilizing true unfocused shockwaves, the treatment stimulates tissue regeneration that provides patients with enduring relief from soft tissue injuries and chronic pain.
  • Non-Invasive Treatment: SoftWave therapy stands as a non-invasive alternative to traditional methods. Without the need for anesthesia, patients can undergo treatment comfortably and confidently, embracing a safer and less intrusive approach to healing.

 If you’re seeking a non-invasive treatment to address your specific needs, find a SoftWave provider today or learn more about the transformative effects of SoftWave therapy.

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