Extracorporeal shockwave therapy is used to treat a growing number of tendon, joint and muscle conditions. These include tennis elbow, where results in double blind studies are reported as excellent; chronic tendinitis of the knee and shoulder rotator cuff pain, achilles tendinitis, hamstring tendinitis and plantar fasciitis have also been treated successfully.
The above conditions are often difficult to treat using other methods and can become chronic. With ESWT patients report reduced pain and faster healing, without significant adverse side effects. ESWT is also used to promote bone healing and treat bone necrosis. It is an effective alternative to surgical treatment of non-healing fractures.
ESWT is used for wound healing and has shown positive results in short-term and long-term outcomes in diabetic patients suffering from foot ulcers.
Shock waves stimulate angiogenesis (new blood vessels) and neurogenesis (new nerve cells). The exact physiological mechanisms at this stage are poorly understood, but it appears that the cells undergo microtrauma which promotes the inflammatory and catabolic processes that are associated with removing damaged matrix constituents and stimulating wound healing mechanisms.
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