Full Function Chiropractic is proud to be one of the only musculoskeletal offices in Lycoming county to offer state-of-the art Acoustic Wave Therapy (AWT). Sometimes referred to as radial wave therapy, pressure wave therapy, or non-focused shockwave therapy, AWT is designed to treat chronic soft tissue injuries that were previously non-responsive to other forms of conservative care.
How It Works:
When the body has been injured for a long period of time (typically greater than 6 months duration), the underlying tissue becomes very tight, weak, fibrotic (think scar tissue), and non-responsive to traditional treatment methods. For the body to know we have an injury, the body must sense that something is wrong (pain and inflammation) and respond by sending different chemicals to the area to begin healing. As the injury becomes worse and worse, this response slows down until you reach a point of no return. This is where AWT come into play.
The AWT machine uses a compressor to accelerate a “bullet” within the devices handle. As the “bullet” oscillates back and forth, slamming into a diaphragm at the end of the device, it generates multiple pressure waves. These pressure waves are then transferred, throughout a coupling gel, to the injured part of the body. It is these pressures waves that essentially wake the body up. As the waves bombard the injured tissue they create a low grade level of inflammatory. In response to this inflammation, the body creates new blood vessels (neovascularization) which can now carry healing factors to the site of injury.
Who Might Benefit From AWT:
- Individuals with chronic soft tissue injuries (typically lasting more than 6 months)
- Individuals with injuries that have been non-responsive to other forms of conservative treatment (e.g. chiropractic care, exercise, ice, physical therapy, NSAIDS, custom orthotics, etc.)
- Those considering, or being recommended for, surgical consult
Some of the Conditions Treated:
Elbow Pain (Golfer’s and Tennis Elbow)
Benefits of AWT:
Improved Mobility / Flexibility / Range of Motion
Short Treatment Times (typically 5-10 minutes/treatment)
What the Research Says…
- A 2019 meta-analysis found that treatment can improve symptoms, functional outcomes, and electrophysiologic parameters in patients with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Medicine (Baltimore). 2019 Aug;98(33):e16870. doi: 10.1097/MD.0000000000016870.
- A 2019 meta-analysis found [that while both] shockwave therapy and corticosteroid injections were effective and successful in relieving pain and improving self-reported function in the treatment of plantar fasciitis at 3 months, the VAS (pain) score was better improved in the shockwave group.
Arch Orthop Trauma Surg. 2019 Apr;139(4):529-536. doi: 10.1007/s00402-018-3071-1. Epub 2018 Nov 13.
- A 2018 meta-analysis found that “therapy exerted a positive overall effect on pain and function for lower-limb tendinopathy.”
Am J Phys Med Rehabil. 2018 Sep;97(9):605-619. doi: 10.1097/PHM.0000000000000925.
- A 2011 study found that shockwave therapy was 85% effective at reducing hamstring pain, by at least 50% (at 3 month follow-up), while only 10% of patients utilizing NSAIDs, physiotherapy, and exercise saw similar relief.
- Am J Sports Med. 2011 Jan;39(1):146-53. doi: 10.1177/0363546510379324. Epub 2010 Sep 20.