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Debunking Myths: Separating Fact From Fiction in Shockwave Therapy


Despite its long history of success as a treatment for soft tissue injuries and widespread use by healthcare professionals, Shockwave Therapy is often misunderstood. Many people may have never heard of this treatment or have limited knowledge about it. As a result, they may be more susceptible to believing common myths and misconceptions, making them hesitant towards exploring its potential benefits.]

In this blog post, we aim to dispel these myths by providing accurate information that will help you make an informed decision when considering Shockwave Therapy.

Myth #1: Shockwave Therapy is Invasive and Painful

When it comes to medical treatments, the fear of pain often deters people from exploring potentially beneficial options. Shockwave Therapy is no exception, as it’s commonly misunderstood to be a painful and invasive procedure. 

Fact: Shockwave Therapy, also known as Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy (ESWT), is a non-invasive procedure; it does not require surgery, incisions, or the insertion of any instruments into the body. It’s performed externally using a handheld device that gently caresses the skin and delivers acoustic waves to the affected area. Anesthesia is not necessary, as there is no cutting or stitching involved.

During application, the shockwaves can cause some discomfort depending on the location and severity of the injury, but are generally well-tolerated and only temporary. Patients often describe the sensation as a mild to moderate tingling or snapping at the treatment site.

Myth #2: Shockwave Therapy is Time-Consuming

Some people falsely believe that the Shockwave treatment demands a significant amount of time. 

Fact: Unlike some medical treatments that require multiple lengthy sessions, Shockwave Therapy often involves a relatively short treatment plan. The typical session lasts between 15 to 20 minutes. 

It’s essential to note that the number of sessions needed may vary depending on your specific condition and its severity. While multiple sessions may be necessary for some people, each session is relatively short. In most cases, patients can receive treatment and return to their daily activities on the same day.

Myth #3: Shockwave Therapy is Similar to Radiation Therapy

Shockwave Therapy is not similar to radiation therapy. They serve different purposes, utilize different energy sources, and are administered by different medical professionals.

Fact: Shockwave Therapy employs a treatment device that delivers high energy acoustic (sound) waves to the affected area to stimulate the body’s natural healing process and promote tissue regeneration. It primarily addresses musculoskeletal conditions such as tendonitis, plantar fasciitis, and chronic pain. 

On the other hand, radiation therapy is an entirely distinct medical procedure that uses high-energy X-rays or other forms of radiation to target and destroy cancer cells or shrink tumors.

Myth #4: Shockwave Therapy Cannot Treat Acute Pain

Another common misconception is that Shockwave Therapy is only effective for chronic pain, which leads people with acute musculoskeletal injuries or pain to overlook it as a potential treatment option. 

Fact: Shockwave Therapy can be an effective tool for managing acute pain, which typically results from sudden injuries such as sprains, strains, or trauma. 

The shockwaves can disrupt pain signals, providing quick pain relief for athletes suffering from conditions such as shoulder tendinopathy or plantar fasciitis. Patients often report reduced pain levels after just a few sessions. By promoting tissue healing and regeneration, it can accelerate the recovery process, allowing you to return to your normal activities faster.

Myth #5: Shockwave Therapy is Only for Athletes

Due to its popularity in sports medicine, Shockwave Therapy is often associated with athletes, but this treatment isn’t exclusively reserved for the athletic elite. 

Fact: The truth is, that people from various walks of life, not just athletes can benefit from Shockwave Therapy. While it is commonly used to treat sports-related injuries, it can be used to address a wide array of musculoskeletal conditions and injuries (including tendonitis, plantar fasciitis, and chronic pain), that affect people of all ages and activity levels.

Myth #6: Shockwave Treatment is Only Available at a Clinic

Another common belief is that Shockwave Therapy can only be administered in a clinical setting, making it inaccessible for those who prefer alternative options. Even though it was primarily offered in clinical settings such as hospitals, sports medicine clinics, or specialized treatment centers, it’s no longer the only option.

Fact: Physical therapy studios such as Nexus offer Shockwave Therapy as part of their treatment options. As a holistic Pilates-based physical therapy studio, Nexus has recognized the effectiveness of Shockwave Therapy in enhancing patient outcomes. This integration allows you to access this advanced treatment method conveniently within the same facility where you receive physical therapy.

Our team of experienced physical therapists have a deep understanding of musculoskeletal conditions and the therapeutic effects of Shockwave Therapy. We have undergone specialized training to deliver this treatment safely and effectively to achieve the best possible outcomes.

Myth #7: One Shockwave Therapy Session is Enough

The number of sessions required can vary depending on several factors, including the specific condition, its severity, the patient’s overall health, and their response to the therapy. A single treatment session may not always be sufficient to address all musculoskeletal concerns. 

Fact: Musculoskeletal conditions often develop over time and involve damage to tissues, which typically do not heal quickly or completely on their own. Therefore, expecting a single session of Shockwave Therapy to resolve the pain may not be realistic.

On the contrary, a series of sessions is often necessary for the effects of the therapy to become more noticeable. Nexus Shockwave therapists in Carmel, CA typically develop a personalized treatment plan for our patients, which may consist of multiple sessions scheduled over a few weeks.

Myth #8: Shockwave Therapy Only Addresses Pain Symptoms

While Shockwave Therapy is indeed highly effective at reducing pain, this powerful treatment offers more than just relief from pain and discomfort. 

Fact: Shockwave Therapy offers a holistic approach that stimulates the body’s natural healing processes by addressing the root issues of pain and discomfort. The shockwaves trigger the production of growth factors known scientifically as a subset of cytokines. 

These are naturally occurring proteins that serve as signals to initiate the body’s natural healing and repair processes. They can help to break down scar tissue, regulate inflammation, promote the proliferation of new cells, stimulate collagen production, and accelerate tissue regeneration. Shockwave Therapy also aims to enhance the functionality and mobility of the treated area.

Get in Touch With our Shockwave Therapists in Carmel, CA

Nexus’s holistic approach to health and wellness extends beyond Shockwave Therapy. We integrate Focused Shockwave Therapy with other treatments such as physical therapy and Pilates-based physical therapy to optimize results. 

Our goal is to enable you to achieve functional movement and enjoy a pain-free, active lifestyle. Don’t let misconceptions hold you back; explore the benefits of our holistic healing process today.

Contact Nexus, shockwave therapists in Carmel, CA to explore our multifaceted strategy for your well-being.