What is Shockwave Therapy?
Shockwave therapy is a noninvasive treatment option for dogs experiencing difficulty with mobility and chronic pain due to muscle-skeletal conditions. High-energy pressure waves or pulses travel through soft tissue at customized depths to target painful areas on the body. At the targeted area, the body's natural repair mechanisms are activated allowing for production of new blood vessels, reduction of chronic inflammation, stimulation of collagen, and the breakdown of calcified deposits resulting in fast-pain relief and mobility restoration.
How does it work?
Shockwave therapy machines function by creating high-pressure acoustic pulses or sound waves, that travel from the probe through the skin and soft tissue to the targeted area. Sound waves interact with different tissue densities, such as soft tissue, tendons, ligaments, cartilage and bone, to produce a unique mechanical and cellular effect based on the location and tissue type. When contact is made between the shockwave and tissue types energy is released and reacts with the targeted tissues to relieve pain and stimulate the body’s natural healing process through increased vascularization (blood flow), increased muscle repair, and overall regeneration through protein production.
Is Shockwave Therapy right for my pet?
Is your pet struggling with ongoing pain due to osteoarthritis, tendon, ligament , or joint injuries, bone fractures, back pain, bladder stones, or chronic soft tissue wounds?
Is your pet no longer able to go for long walks or enjoy the activities they did prior to injury or pain?
Are pain medications no longer working for pain management or negatively impacting the quality of life of your pet?
If any of these sound like your pet, shockwave therapy could be the long-term, sustainable, effective, noninvasive treatment for chronic pain you have been looking for. Non only is this therapy more convenient but shockwaves have higher energy outputs allowing for deeper penetration into tissues in comparison to laser therapies.
What are the benefits of Shockwave Therapy?
Shockwave therapy is standout amongst other option for chronic pain treatment because:
1. Completely non-invasive treatment option for severe, chronic pain that is not responsive to other treatment options. Shockwave therapy is a safe next step that doesn’t rely on surgery or potential addiction to pain medications if common therapies for pain have stopped providing comfort for your pet.
2. Its fast, comfortable, and easy! Sessions are short and usually pets with have immediate relief that with continued use can provide long-lasting results and there is little to no recovery period.
What is the difference between Shockwave Therapy and Laser Therapy?
Shockwave therapy uses sound energy, while laser therapy uses light energy. Shockwaves (sound energy) create higher energy outputs that can penetrate into deeper tissues than laser. Laser therapy could be better used for superficial wounds or injuries that only need a few millimeters in depth. As well, laser therapy needs 10-15 treatment sessions, while shockwave therapy is effective in as a little as 1-3 treatment sessions. Shockwave therapy is FDA-approved and has shown to be widely effective for pain treatment in humans and animals after decades of trial.
Is it safe?
Yes, shockwave therapy is safe in almost all circumstances for both your pet and even you! Back by over 10 years of research in both humans and animals, this FDA-certified therapy is clinically proven to provide results with little to no adverse effects at all. Mild symptoms have been reported such as some swelling at the treatment site. There is no risk or burns with sound energy and no protective eye wear is needed. In general shockwave therapy is one of the safest treatment options for pets suffering from chronic pain.
What should I expect during treatment?
At Pet Med Plus, we only perform shockwave therapy without sedation. The average treatment is fast and easy and usually takes about 5-10 minutes. Technicians may have to clip fur in the treatment area to allow for uninterrupted transmission depending on the length of your pet's fur. Conductive gel is applied and the applicator head is gently moved over the area. Gel is cleaned and removed after treatment. Many of our clients see almost immediate pain relief, but additional treatments may be needed to in the following weeks to maintain tissue recovery.
Clinical Research Resources:
• Corti L. Nonpharmaceutical approaches to pain management. Top Companion Anim Med. 2014 Mar;29(1):24-8. doi: 10.1053/j.tcam.2014.04.001. Epub 2014 Apr 5. PMID: 25103886.
• Wang, Ching-Jen MD*; Huang, Hsuan-Ying MD**; Chen, Han-Hsiang MD†; Pai, Chun-Huang MD*; Yang, Kuender D. MD‡. Effect of Shock Wave Therapy on Acute Fractures of the Tibia: A Study in a Dog Model. Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research 387():p 112-118, June 2001.
• Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy for Shoulder Lameness in Dogs
Willem Becker, DVM, DACVS; Michael P. Kowaleski, DVM, DACVS; Robert J. McCarthy, DVM, DACVS; Cara A. Blake, DVM, DACVS, J Am Anim Hosp Assoc (2015) 51 (1): 15–19.