What is Shockwave Therapy?

Shockwave therapy Washington DC is a non-invasive medical treatment that utilizes acoustic waves to treat various musculoskeletal conditions and promote healing. The energy from the waves stimulates the affected tissues, triggering a cascade of cellular responses that can help alleviate pain, promote tissue regeneration, and enhance the healing process. Damaged tissue gradually regenerates and eventually heals. Shockwave therapy is an FDA-cleared treatment and is offered from the comfort of our office at Release Physical Therapy.

How does shockwave therapy work?

During shockwave therapy, a handheld device delivers acoustic waves to the affected area of the body. The waves are generated outside the body and then transmitted through the skin using a gel or oil to improve conduction. The energy from the waves stimulates the affected tissues, triggering a cascade of cellular responses that can help alleviate pain, promote tissue regeneration, and enhance the healing process. While the precise mechanism of how shockwave therapy works continues to be studied, we know shockwave stimulates the body's natural healing processes, improves blood circulation, reduces inflammation, and breaks down scar tissue.

What conditions does shockwave therapy treat?

Shockwave therapy has been found to be effective in treating certain musculoskeletal conditions including:

Chronic Pain Conditions
Shockwave therapy has been used to address chronic pain conditions like myofascial trigger points, chronic neck or back pain, and muscular tension. Over 80% of patients have reported reduced pain and improved quality of life.

Tendinopathies
Shockwave therapy has been found to be effective in treating various tendinopathies, such as achilles tendonitis, tennis elbow, patellar (knee) tendinopathy, shoulder tendinopathy / rotator cuff tendinitis, hip tendinopathy, and golfer’s elbow. It can help reduce pain, improve function, and promote healing.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome & Other Nerve Conditions
Shockwave therapy has also been used to treat conditions such as carpal tunnel and tarsal tunnel by reducing pain and inflammation around the nerve. Studies have shown shockwave therapy to be more beneficial in treating mild to moderate nerve conditions than conventional physical therapy.

TMJ/TMD
Shockwave therapy has also been used as a treatment option for temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders. TMJ disorders can cause pain, discomfort, and limited jaw movement. Shockwave therapy can help alleviate these symptoms by promoting tissue healing and reducing inflammation in the jaw joint.

Hip Bursitis & Shoulder Bursitis
Shockwave therapy can help reduce pain and inflammation in the bursa of the hip and shoulder, providing relief for hip and shoulder bursitis.

Plantar Fasciitis
Shockwave therapy has shown positive results in reducing pain and improving function in individuals with plantar fasciitis, particularly those who have not responded to other conservative treatments.

How does shockwave therapy work?

During shockwave therapy, a handheld device delivers acoustic waves to the affected area of the body. The waves are generated outside the body and then transmitted through the skin using a gel or oil to improve conduction. The energy from the waves stimulates the affected tissues, triggering a cascade of cellular responses that can help alleviate pain, promote tissue regeneration, and enhance the healing process. While the precise mechanism of how shockwave therapy works continues to be studied, we know shockwave stimulates the body's natural healing processes, improves blood circulation, reduces inflammation, and breaks down scar tissue.

Is shockwave therapy safe?

Yes. Shockwave is an FDA cleared technology that was developed in Europe and is currently used around the globe. A wealth of medical experience, state-of-the-art engineering, and optimal quality have been built into the shockwave device we use in our office; and extensive clinical studies and tests have confirmed its safety and efficacy. If performed by a qualified provider, shockwave has virtually no risks or side effects. Individuals who may not be suitable candidates for shockwave therapy include pregnant women, individuals with tumors or cancer, patients with localized infections or open wounds, individuals with blood clotting disorders or taking anticoagulant medications, patients with peripheral neuropathy or decreased sensation, and children.

How long does it take to see results from shockwave therapy?

The beneficial effects of shockwave therapy are often experienced after only three treatments. Some patients report immediate pain relief after the treatment, although it can take up to 4 weeks for pain relief to begin. The procedure eliminates pain and restores full mobility - in fact, over 80% of patients treated report to be pain free and/or have significant pain reduction. It's important to note, the timeframe for experiencing results from shockwave therapy can vary depending on the condition being treated, individual factors, and the body's response to the treatment. Your physical therapist can provide a better estimate based on your specific condition.

How many shockwave therapy sessions will I need?

The number of shockwave therapy sessions needed can vary depending on the condition being treated and individual factors. Typically, a series of 6 to 10 sessions are recommended, spaced one to two weeks apart. Each sessions usually lasts 5 to 10 minutes. Your physical therapist will assess your progress and determine the appropriate treatment plan for your specific needs.

Shockwave Therapy Washington DC

Looking for a shockwave therapy in Washington DC? Release physical therapy is proud to offer shockwave therapy treatment as a part of our regenerative medicine program. Our licensed physical therapists are trained to provide shockwave therapy treatment using the state-of-the-art CuraMedix OrthoPulse device. If you think you would benefit from shockwave therapy, please book an appointment with one of our physical therapists today. Relief, recovery and wellness are just a click or call away.

Book an Appointment

What are the benefits of shockwave therapy?

Shockwave therapy has shown positive clinical outcomes in various studies and clinical trials for different conditions. Here are some general clinical outcomes associated with shockwave therapy:

Pain Reduction
Shockwave therapy has been found to effectively reduce pain in conditions such as plantar fasciitis, tendinopathies (e.g., Achilles tendonitis, tennis elbow), and myofascial trigger points. Studies have reported significant pain relief and improved pain scores following shockwave therapy treatments.

Improved Function and Mobility
Patients who undergo shockwave therapy often experience improved functional outcomes and mobility. This can be observed in conditions like plantar fasciitis, where shockwave therapy has been shown to improve walking ability and reduce disability.

Tissue Healing and Regeneration
Shockwave therapy has demonstrated the potential to stimulate tissue healing and regeneration. It has been shown to promote new blood vessel formation (angiogenesis) and enhance the release of growth factors, which can aid in tissue repair and regeneration. This effect has been observed in conditions such as delayed bone healing and non-unions.

Decreased Medication Reliance
Shockwave therapy has the potential to reduce the need for pain medication and other interventions for certain conditions. By targeting the underlying cause of the pain or dysfunction, shockwave therapy can provide long-lasting relief and reduce the reliance on medication.

Avoidance of Surgery
In some cases, shockwave therapy may help patients avoid surgical intervention. It can be used as a non-invasive treatment option for conditions like plantar fasciitis and tendinopathies, offering an alternative to surgical procedures for patients who prefer conservative management or are not suitable candidates for surgery.

In addition to that, shockwave therapy

  • Is non-invasive
  • Involves no anesthesia
  • Has no risk of infection
  • Leaves no scarring
  • Requires no downtime
  • Has an over 80% patient satisfaction
  • Is faster and easier to heal from

What conditions can be treated with shockwave therapy?

Shockwave therapy has been found to be effective in treating certain musculoskeletal conditions including:

Chronic Pain Conditions
Shockwave therapy has been used to address chronic pain conditions like myofascial trigger points, chronic neck or back pain, and muscular tension. Over 80% of patients have reported reduced pain and improved quality of life.

Tendinopathies
Shockwave therapy has been found to be effective in treating various tendinopathies, such as achilles tendonitis, tennis elbow, patellar (knee) tendinopathy, shoulder tendinopathy / rotator cuff tendinitis, hip tendinopathy, and golfer’s elbow. It can help reduce pain, improve function, and promote healing.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome & Other Nerve Conditions
Shockwave therapy has also been used to treat conditions such as carpal tunnel and tarsal tunnel by reducing pain and inflammation around the nerve. Studies have shown shockwave therapy to be more beneficial in treating mild to moderate nerve conditions than conventional physical therapy.

TMJ/TMD
Shockwave therapy has also been used as a treatment option for temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders. TMJ disorders can cause pain, discomfort, and limited jaw movement. Shockwave therapy can help alleviate these symptoms by promoting tissue healing and reducing inflammation in the jaw joint.

Hip Bursitis & Shoulder Bursitis
Shockwave therapy can help reduce pain and inflammation in the bursa of the hip and shoulder, providing relief for hip and shoulder bursitis.

Plantar Fasciitis
Shockwave therapy has shown positive results in reducing pain and improving function in individuals with plantar fasciitis, particularly those who have not responded to other conservative treatments.

How long does it take to see results from shockwave therapy?

The beneficial effects of shockwave therapy are often experienced after only three treatments. Some patients report immediate pain relief after the treatment, although it can take up to 4 weeks for pain relief to begin. The procedure eliminates pain and restores full mobility - in fact, over 80% of patients treated report to be pain free and/or have significant pain reduction. It's important to note, the timeframe for experiencing results from shockwave therapy can vary depending on the condition being treated, individual factors, and the body's response to the treatment. Your physical therapist can provide a better estimate based on your specific condition.

Is shockwave therapy safe?

Yes. Shockwave is an FDA cleared technology that was developed in Europe and is currently used around the globe. A wealth of medical experience, state-of-the-art engineering, and optimal quality have been built into the shockwave device we use in our office; and extensive clinical studies and tests have confirmed its safety and efficacy. If performed by a qualified provider, shockwave has virtually no risks or side effects. Individuals who may not be suitable candidates for shockwave therapy include pregnant women, individuals with tumors or cancer, patients with localized infections or open wounds, individuals with blood clotting disorders or taking anticoagulant medications, patients with peripheral neuropathy or decreased sensation, and children.

Is shockwave therapy painful?

No. Shockwave therapy can cause some discomfort during the treatment, but it should not be painful. The sensation can vary from person to person, ranging from mild discomfort to a tingling or pressure sensation. It’s important to communicate with your physical therapist during the session, as they can adjust the intensity if needed.

Shockwave Therapy Washington DC

Looking for a shockwave therapy in Washington DC? Release physical therapy is proud to offer shockwave therapy treatment as a part of our regenerative medicine program. Our licensed physical therapists are trained to provide shockwave therapy treatment using the state-of-the-art CuraMedix OrthoPulse device. If you think you would benefit from shockwave therapy, please book an appointment with one of our physical therapists today. Relief, recovery and wellness are just a click or call away.

Book an Appointment

Cari Simon
Owner, Physical Therapist

Stephanie Lam
Physical Therapist

Trever Reed
Physical Therapist

Ethan Gramstad
Physical Therapist

Deborah Ajala
Physical Therapist

Shockwave Therapy FAQs

How does shockwave therapy work?

With an over 80% customer satisfaction rate, it’s no surprise that shockwave therapy is a safe and effective FDA-cleared, non-invasive treatment used for treating chronic pain, tendon injuries, hip and shoulder bursitis, TMJ and TMD, plantar fasciitis, carpal tunnel syndrome as well as other nerve and muscular conditions. It delivers shockwaves to stimulate natural healing. Acoustic waves are directed to the affected body area using a handheld device. External waves are transmitted through the skin with the aid of gel or oil to enhance conduction. The wave energy stimulates targeted tissues, triggering a series of cellular responses that alleviate pain, promote tissue repair, and accelerate overall healing. There are two types:

  • Focused Shockwave Therapy: Targets specific deep tissue points electromagnetically.
  • Radial Shockwave Therapy: Spreads shockwaves radially for surface-level conditions.

Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy (ESWT) refers to a specific kind of shockwave therapy used to treat chronic pain in tendons, muscles, and joints, plantar fasciitis, tendonitis, and shoulder pain. Extracorporeal means outside the body. ESWT and shockwave therapy are similar but ESWT is a specific type of therapy. These two terms are often used interchangeably.

Low-intensity shockwave therapy (LiSWT) is a non-invasive medical treatment using lower-energy sound waves to promote healing and pain relief for various conditions. LiSWT is known for its safety and comfort, with fewer side effects than higher-intensity shockwave treatments.

What are the side effects of shockwave therapy?

Shockwave therapy side effects are usually minor and temporary, including:

  • Pain and Discomfort: Temporary during and after treatment.
  • Swelling and Redness: Normal reaction in the treated area.
  • Bruising: Sometimes possible in the area impacted by shockwaves.
  • Numbness or Tingling: Transient sensations in the treated region.
  • Skin Irritation: Sometimes happens when gel is applied for the procedure.
  • Headache: This can occur if treatment is near the neck or head.

Patients should consult their healthcare provider if they have any potential side effects.

How long does it take to see results from shockwave therapy?

The time it takes to see results from shockwave therapy can vary depending on the condition you are being treated for, the severity of your issue, your body’s healing response, and how closely treatment protocols are followed.

  • Immediate Relief: Some people experience pain relief right after treatment.
  • Short-Term Improvements: Noticeable changes in pain and mobility may happen within days to weeks.
  • Long-Term Healing: Significant results, like tissue repair, may be experienced after three treatments but it can take up to 4 weeks for pain relief to start.
  • Individual Response: Response times may vary for each person.

How many sessions of shockwave therapy are recommended?

The recommended number of shockwave therapy sessions varies depending on the condition being treated and the response to the therapy. General guidelines are:

  • Typical Protocol: A course of 6-10 sessions is common, spaced about a week apart
  • Assessment After Initial Sessions: Effectiveness is evaluated after a few sessions to determine if additional treatments are needed
  • Chronic Conditions: Severe conditions may require additional sessions for the best results.
  • Individual Variation: Some patients may respond quicker, while others need more treatment.

Consult with your healthcare provider for a treatment plan based on your individual medical needs.

How many shockwave therapy sessions will I need?

Your condition and response to treatment will determine how many shockwave therapy sessions are appropriate for you. At Release PT, we recommend 6-10 sessions, spaced a week apart. Some patients may need more to experience improvement.

How long do the results of shockwave therapy last?

Many of our patients feel shockwave therapy benefits after just three sessions. Immediate pain relief is reported by some people, but it can sometimes take up to four weeks for pain relief to be noticeable. Your physical therapist can give you a more specific estimate regarding your particular condition. Healing and improvement is a gradual process. Combining shockwave therapy with other treatments may influence the effectiveness and speed of recovery.

Is shockwave therapy FDA-approved?

Originally developed in Europe, shockwave therapy is an FDA-cleared technology now used worldwide. When a medical device is deemed FDA-cleared, it has been reviewed and undergone a rigorous review and approval process.

Due to its state-of-the-art engineering and advanced medical technology, the shockwave device we use in our physical therapy office called the CuraMedix OrthoPulse device, is versatile while providing the best pain relief and healing for a range of medical conditions. This device also allows our therapists to adjust settings for individual patient needs, encouraging tissue recovery in both orthopedic and rehabilitation settings, shockwave therapy offers an alternative to some surgeries with faster and easier recovery time and can provide decreased dependency on medications.

Who should not receive shockwave therapy?

Shockwave therapy might not be appropriate for certain individuals, including pregnant women, people with tumors or cancer, anyone with local infections or open wounds, those with blood clotting disorders, or those on anticoagulant therapy. Patients experiencing peripheral neuropathy or reduced sensation, and children should not receive shockwave therapy either.

How effective is shockwave therapy?

Shockwave therapy is a highly effective form of regenerative medicine that can help relieve your pain and eliminate some medical issues for you. Both clinical trials and patient outcomes have proven its safety and efficacy. A significant number of patients receive pain relief and improved function after undergoing shockwave therapy procedures. shockwave therapy stimulates the body’s healing abilities, increases blood circulation, alleviates inflammation, and assists in breaking down scar tissue. In fact, over 80% of patients report being pain-free after three shockwave therapy treatments. When administered by one of our trained physical therapists, shockwave therapy has virtually zero risks or side effects.

How long does a shockwave therapy session last?

Shockwave therapy is done within your 55-minute session at Release Physical Therapy. The actual shockwave therapy only lasts about 5-10 minutes, but it is always used in conjunction with other treatments to optimize healing. After evaluating your specific needs, one of our qualified Release physical therapists will monitor your progress and can customize your treatment plan.

To learn more about our Release PT shockwave therapy and regenerative medicine program, please contact us at our office to schedule an appointment with one of our professional physical therapists. With our shockwave therapy treatment, you can soon be pain-free and experiencing relief.