Injured muscles ‘shocked’ back to health – Medical Press

A recent study in rats suggests that acoustic shock waves could speed up a muscle’s healing process. This technique could help injured athletes to return to training and be able to compete more quickly than just with traditional methods.

Applying low-frequency shock waves in a  called Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy (ESWT) is already a promising technique for injuries like ligament and tendon damage. Dr Angela Zissler, leader of the study at the University of Salzburg, Austria, explains: “To our knowledge, there are no experiments exploring the benefits of ESWT in , one of the most common causes of injury in competitive sports. By accelerating the muscle healing process, ESWT could get athletes back in the game faster after injury.”

ESWT works by mechanically stimulating the tissue, which recruits stem cells to kick-start repairs. “The detailed cellular and molecular processes activated by ESWT have been unclear,” says Dr Zissler. “Our study indicates that shock waves increase the levels of chemical signaling factors in . These factors wake up ‘satellite’ progenitor cells which gradually become new  fibres.”

In a low-energy ESWT session, probes deliver shock waves to the patient’s damaged area at a low frequency (roughly 1 pulse per second). The  focus a small amount of energy (less than 0.2 mJ/mm2) on the damaged area, without the need for using local anaesthetics.

ESWT has good potential as a non-invasive therapy complementing or supplementing existing recovery regimes. Dr Zissler remarks: “This therapy only needs sessions of around 15 minutes, so easily complements traditional practices such as physiotherapy. Another bonus is that there are no side-effects to low-energy ESWT, unlike some other methods.”

This poster will be presented by Dr Angela Zissler (University of Salzburg, Austria) at the annual meeting of the Society for Experimental Biology (SEB) in Brighton on Wednesday 6 July 2016.

Up to 65 percent of patients with chronic plantar fasciitis may benefit from shock wave therapy

ROSEMONT, Ill.May 6, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Shock wave therapy may relieve symptoms in up to 65 percent of patients suffering from chronic plantar fasciitis, a common condition causing prolonged pain and discomfort along the bottom of the foot and heel, according to a new study appearing in the May 6 issue of The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery (JBJS).

The plantar fascia is a long, thin band of connective tissue that supports the arch like a bow string. Too much pressure on the ligament, especially with inappropriate footwear and during sports and exercise, can damage or tear the tissue causing inflammation, heel pain and stiffness. An estimated 2 million Americans suffer from this condition each year. For most patients, the condition subsides within 10 months with rest, ice, stretching exercises, over-the-counter pain medication, supportive shoes, physical therapy, and/or cortisone injections. More recently, extracorporeal shock wave therapy (ESWT), a noninvasive procedure that uses pressure waves to trigger healing, has been used to treat more severe cases, often as a last resort before surgery. To date, ESWT has had inconsistent results.

In this study, 246 plantar fasciitis patients, at multiple health care facilities in the U.S., randomly received either a placebo, or ESWT sessions consisting of 2,000 impulses at three, weekly intervals. The ESWT patients did not receive anesthesia or pain mediation during the procedure. Pain levels were measured immediately following the treatment, and again at 12 weeks and one year post treatment.

There was a “significant” reduction in pain levels—when patients took their first steps in the morning, and during daily activities—in the ESWT group compared to the placebo group (a 69.2 percent reduction versus a 34.5 percent reduction). Diminished pain scores also were recorded in the ESWT group following the procedure. While there were no safety issues, many patients reported temporary pain and swelling during and after ESWT treatment.

“Our study demonstrated that extracorporeal shock wave therapy is effective in the treatment of chronic, recalcitrant cases of plantar fasciitis,” said lead study author Hans Gollwitzer, MD. “The advantage of this relatively new treatment is that it is non-invasive and that patients can continue with activity throughout the treatment.”

Disclosure: One or more of the authors received payments or services, either directly or indirectly (i.e., via his or her institution), from a third party in support of an aspect of this work. In addition, one or more of the authors, or his or her institution, has had a financial relationship, in the 36 months prior to submission of this work, with an entity in the biomedical arena that could be perceived to influence or have the potential to influence what is engaged in any other activities that could be perceived to influence or have the potential to influence what is written in this work. 

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SOURCE American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons



A good article about the Sonocur® and the ESWT treatment

In this article posted about a month ago gives a good overview of the Sonocur® system and the ESWT procedure for heel pain and tendonitis.

If interested call VIP Physical Therapy in Springfield at 413-732-6005 to speak with a specialist.