Shockwave encourages a new blood supply to injured tissue and induces the inflammatory cascade that is required to for healing.
The patented SoftWave TRT (Tissue Regnerative Treatment) is FDA approved to encourage tissue healing and repair. Much like prolotherapy or platelet rich plasma, shockwave encourages a new blood supply to injured tissue and induces the same inflammatory cascade that is required to for healing. Dr Stebbing is now offering treatment with shockwave to augment prolotherapy and PRP treatments. Shockwave can also be a stand alone non-invasive option for treatment for certain patients.
What is shockwave?
There are a few different shockwave devices. Some are high energy and others like the SoftWave TRT machine emit low energy sound waves. You may aware of the high-energy shockwave devices that were used to break up kidney stones.
Other shockwave are focused, meaning that they affect only the tissue in a narrow area directly beneath the probe. Softwave TRT machine has a parabolic reflector that allows a larger area to be treated. The sounds waves are unfocused and can penetrate deeper into the tissue.
How does shockwave work?
The SoftWave TRT technology uses sound waves that are transmitted into the body through a water-containing probe that is larger than an ultrasound probe. The sound waves are introduced into the body through meachanotransduction. The wave of energy causes a change in the cells that are injured, causing them to release of growth factors. These growth factors are the same growth factors that are release when you cut yourself or are injected with prolotherapy or PRP. They are released in a temporal fashion, telling the body the order in which to bring in the nutrients and other cellular material needed to make collagen. The collagen that is made replaces the injured collagen. Collagen is the protein that comprises all tissue.
What are the benefits of Softwave TRT treatment?
Shockwave with the Softwave TRT device can encourage healing and repair non-invasively. This reduces the most common risks of injection therapy, which includes bleeding, infection, allergy to a solution or injury to neighboring tissue. There is less inflammation than prolotherapy or platelet rich plasma, and therefore less pain.
What conditions that can be treated with shockwave?
Many of the same musculoskeletal injuries that Dr Stebbing treats with prolotherapy and platelet rich plasma can be treated with shockwave. Shockwave reduces pain in non-surgical situations, however prolotherapy and platelet rich plasma appear to improve stability better than shockwave.
Tennis elbow and plantar fasciitis have been the two conditions studies the most with shockwave. Dr Stebbing has found that healing has occurred in these two conditions when she would have normally treated with prolotherapy or platelet rich plasma.
Each individual may respond differently to the same treatment. Understanding when to treat with what is an evolutionary process where evidence is gathered over time and experience.
Shockwave can also be used in addition to platelet rich plasma for men with ED or Peyronie’s disease or women with incontinence, pain with intercourse, or lichen sclerosis. There appears to be a benefit if the sacral nerve plexus is treated in addition to the perineum or penis directly.
The benefits are additive.
What does shockwave feel like?
Because shockwave is induced by a sound, there is a force that is being transmitted into the body, which feels like a low-grade thump. The intensity of the thump or tapping can be altered. In an injured area the thumping can be intense, while it may not be felt at all in the non-injured area near by. After treatment there can be a tingling numbing feeling. Many people feel a reduction in pain immediately after.
Who is a good candidate for shockwave?
Someone who wants to pursue the most amount of healing to get out of pain can use shockwave as an adjunct to other treatment. In some cases, it is the treatment that keeps the area healing and the pain at bay.
In other situations where someone is needle phobic or has difficulty getting numb, shockwave can provide an option to be treated, preventing the condition from getting worse.
For active people, who want to remain active, shockwave can be used to reduce pain and encourage healing. The Softwave TRT technology is being using in elite athletes, pro-athletes, and college level athletes to maintain their physical health during the season.
Dr Stebbing practice centers around taking care of people who have musculoskeletal injuries, however the SoftWave TRT device has been used to heal deep diabetic wounds, spinal cord trauma, fractures and other conditions.
Who is not a candidate for shockwave?
Shockwave should not be use over growth plates that have not closed and is therefore not used in children and teenagers who are still growing. Softwave TRT devices should not be used over defibulators or people with active cancers.
What is the cost?
ECSW treatment with the Softwave TRT machine costs $100 per 500 shockwaves. Typically 6-10 treatments are needed, so the cost is slightly less than prolotherapy or platelet rich plasma.
Does shock wave hurt?
Because the SoftWave TRT device emits unfocused waves, the treatment does not increase pain. Healing occurs over time, as mesenchymal cells (know by some as stem cells) are recruited, stimulated and activated by the soundwaves as they pass through the body.
Other Treatments You Might Be Interested In…
Dr. Stebbing offers many non-surgical treatment options. Here are some treatments you might be interested to consider along with shockwave therapy.