Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy (ESWT)
What is Shockwave Therapy?
Shock Waves are movements of extremely high pressure. Some examples of natural Shock Waves are an earthquake, an explosion or a plane breaking the sound barrier.
Extracorporeal Shockwave (ESWT) is when Shock Waves are applied through medicine or treatment
It is clinically proven that when pressure waves are applied to injured tissues it stimulates metabolic reactions leading to:
- A reduction of pain felt by nerve fibres
- An increase in blood circulation to the surrounding tissues
- Start of the healing process triggered by stem cells activation
Here’s The Science…
Red chilli peppers contain capsaicin. We all know the feeling when we eat one! First your mouth is on fire and then it feels numb. This is because the capsaicin overwhelms the C nerve fibres that are responsible for transmitting pain and then it disables them for an extended period of time.
Research has indicated that Shockwave Therapy works the same way.1
When activated, the C nerve fibers release a specific substance, Substance P, in the tissue as well as in the spinal cord. This substance is responsible for causing slight discomfort during and after shock wave treatment. However, with prolonged activation, the C nerve fibers become incapable for some time of releasing substance P and causing pain.2
Less substance P in the tissue leads to reduced pain and… less Substance P also causes so-called neurogenic inflammation to decline.3
A decline in neurogenic inflammation may also encourage healing – together with the release of growth factors and the activation of stem cells in the treated tissue.4
1 Maier et al., Clin Orthop Relat Res 2003; (406):237–245.
2 In addition, shock waves activate the so-called A? nerve fibers (sensory afferent nerve fibers from the periphery) via receptors in the tissue.
According to Melzack and Wall’s gate control theory (Science 1965; 150:971–979) these activated A? fibers then suppress the conduction of pain in the second-order neuron of the sensory