Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy (ESWT) has emerged as a groundbreaking technology in the treatment of various musculoskeletal conditions. Recognized for its ability to enhance blood circulation and accelerate healing, ESWT is a powerful non-invasive solution offered by Charleston Sports Medicine that delivers impressive patient outcomes.

Understanding Shockwave Therapy
Shockwave therapy uses high-energy sound waves to stimulate healing in damaged tissues. It’s particularly effective for tendinopathies—conditions involving tendon pain or injury. The therapy works by promoting neovascularization (the formation of new blood vessels) in tendon tissue, which fosters extensive capillary growth and improves blood supply to the affected area.

New Insights from Recent Studies
A newly published study in Biomedical Reports offers an exhaustive review of shockwave therapy’s biological effects on tendons. The study analyzed 7,120 titles to focus on in vivo and in vitro studies concerning human and animal tendon tissues.

Key Findings

1. Enhanced Capillary Activity:
Shockwave therapy significantly boosts capillary activity, improving blood flow and nutrient delivery to damaged tendons.
2. Cellular and Extracellular Benefits:
At both cellular and extracellular levels, ESWT positively impacts tendon structure, promoting healing and enhanced biomechanical properties. Treated tendons are better able to withstand stress, reducing the risk of re-injury and speeding return to activity.
3. Optimal Dosing:
Proper dosing is crucial. Dr. McConnell uses the above study and other evidence-based finding to ensure optimal dosing for each patient. He combines biologics and ESWT frequently to further speed healing. Dr. McConnell emphasizes the importance of using established protocols to determine the optimal dose for maximum biological effect. Caution: Inexperienced providers may inadvertently administer non-optimal doses, risking less effective outcomes.

How ESWT Promotes Tendon Healing
Shockwave therapy activates the body’s natural healing processes, making it a regenerative treatment that revitalizes damaged tendons. Key benefits include:

    • Pain Relief:
      Patients experience significant pain reduction, improving quality of life and mobility.
    • Non-Invasive (Non-Surgical) Option:
      ESWT offers a non-surgical alternative for treating challenging tendinopathies, avoiding the risks associated with invasive procedures.
    • Enhanced Mobility:
      By promoting advanced healing, ESWT helps patients regain mobility, which is especially beneficial for athletes aiming to return to their sport.

ESWT in Sports Medicine
Athletes frequently suffer from tendinopathies and other musculoskeletal conditions like osteoarthritis, fracture nonunion, and spasticity. Using ESWT in sports medicine provides several advantages:

Quick Recovery: Faster healing times enable athletes to resume training and competition sooner.
Reduced Risk of Further Damage: Regenerative treatments like ESWT help prevent additional damage to already compromised areas, promoting long-term health.

ESWT can be used independently or in combination with other regenerative treatments:
Biologics: Combining ESWT with biologic treatments can further enhance healing and regenerative potential.
Ultrasound-Led Technology: Using ultrasound guidance, practitioners can target specific areas more accurately, improving treatment efficacy. In addition to being a board-certified orthopedic surgeon, Dr. McConnell is a certified bone densitometrist.

If you’re experiencing tendon pain or injury, consider exploring the benefits of shockwave therapy. Your path to recovery and enhanced mobility starts here.


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