Having opened school textbooks on physics, we recall the fact that the definition of "shock wave" refers to an important branch of physics devoted to explosion. Physicists, having studied the processes that occur during huge explosions, discovered their large energy supersonic part, calling it a shock wave.
A shock wave is a sharply compressed medium (liquid, gaseous, dense), which propagates in all directions at a supersonic speed. The leading front of this medium - the shock wave - has a sharp boundary and high energy. This resembles the most powerful tsunami wave, which, like a wall, moves in all directions from the source of origin with tremendous force, sweeping away everything in its path. The next waves are calmer and much quieter.
What can provoke the appearance of a shock wave?
There are a lot of sources, ranging from the overcoming of the sound barrier by the plane and the subsequent clapping (everyone has probably heard this effect), ending with a clap of thunder or the explosion of a powerful bomb. Such shock waves are, of course, destructive to human health, sometimes having fatal consequences. Despite this, modern engineers, together with doctors, have tamed this power of nature, subordinating its energy for good. Everyone knows extracorporeal (remote) lithotripsy - crushing of kidney stones. Thanks to her, the removal of biological calculi became possible without the need for surgical operations. It is enough just to focus the shock wave in the right place using ultrasound and the stone will be crushed into microscopic particles and naturally excreted from the body.
It should be noted that the shock wave is formed in the INFRA sound spectrum and they have only an acoustic wave in common with ULTRASound, but the frequency, energy and strength are completely different. Hence the different effects on the body.
The local low-intensity impact of the shock wave on the body has a beneficial (constructive) effect - exactly the opposite of what can be observed in nature. You can roughly compare the impact of a shock wave with a massage from a high-end professional. This is a superficial comparison, because the masseur's fingers will not penetrate where the shock wave reaches and, accordingly, the effect of even the best manual therapy is limited.
In medicine, thanks to high technologies (Storz Medical (Switzerland) and Gymna (Belgium) are world leaders in the production of high-quality equipment for shock wave therapy), modern SWT equipment has the ability to dosed and with low force transfer energy to tissues. The impact of such shock waves approaches in their properties and characteristics to acoustic waves.
The shock wave in the affected area compresses the tissue (touches the soft tissue, consisting of liquid) due to the pressure generated. The high density of this energy and the tremendous speed of its penetration directly affect the cells, after which the same sharp stretching occurs due to the drop in pressure. In nature, this is the cause of cavitation - the formation of small bubbles that are filled with air (vapors of a certain liquid). When the pressure in the tissues is normalized, these bubbles “collapse” (as it were, they explode), which is accompanied by the release of heat energy - as a consequence of kinetic energy. In their own words, in the place of the impact of the shock wave, the cells are shaken, local stimulation and heat release occur.
How does our body react to such “shaking”? Quite naturally - there is a sharp inflow of oxygen-filled blood and the same outflow of venous blood. Against this background, the lymphatic system begins to work actively.
Due to vasoconstriction and expansion of blood vessels, cells receive the necessary nutrition. This process is controlled by the nervous system, which “distributes” oxygen and other substances necessary for nutrition into certain tissues, also responding to external stimuli.
Under the influence of SW, those areas of the body that were in a painful state, spasm or hypertonicity, or there were fibrosis, scars or calcified formations, change their physical structure. This is possible under the influence of a shock wave, which, due to its unique effect - angiogenesis, restores blood flow and neuronal stimulation.
It should be noted that only SWT causes angiogenesis (the growth of new capillaries) - this has long been scientifically proven fact. Therefore, its effects are becoming more and more popular in many areas of medicine, from cardiology in the treatment of coronary heart disease, to the treatment of long-lasting injuries and wounds in traumatology and surgery.
Other effects of shock wave therapy (shock wave exposure) are analgesic (pain relieving), decongestant and anti-inflammatory. Against this background, the regeneration processes in the tissues of oranism sharply increase due to the above-mentioned formation of a microscopic capillary network.
Improvement of blood circulation in the field of UHT application (during the procedure from 40 times);
Reduction or complete elimination of painful sensations;
A sharp increase in the protective functions of the immune system at the site of exposure to shock waves;
The disintegration of calcified fibroblasts, bone growths, fibrous foci and the gradual resorption of their fragments; Release of endorphins, which have the ability to reduce pain;
Improving the resistance of tendons and ligaments to further injury and physical stress;
Improving mobility in the damaged part of the body;
Increase and spread of cytokines, which limit the development of inflammation, providing intercellular interaction through the walls of blood vessels, which speeds up the healing process;
Germination of new microvessels in the procedure (angiogenesis - proven by clinical studies in Mariotto, Italy, 2005; Oi, Nishida, Shimokawa, Japan, 2008), which improves tissue nutrition and permanently reduces pain.
For several decades of using shock wave therapy, only two side effects have been established, but they are individual, that is, not necessary.
1. During treatment with shock wave therapy, the pain syndrome may worsen for a while. This is due to the body's response to an external stimulus, which leads to an exacerbation of the disease and, as a result, a quick recovery. Usually, such a reaction occurs at the very beginning of treatment and lasts from several hours to two days.
2. As a result of exposure to the skin of micro-shocks (through a special acoustic wave transmitter - in the case of radial shock wave therapy), in rare cases, bruises (superficial hematomas) may form, which disappear by themselves within three days. Basically, this applies more to women with sensitive skin and “fragile” vessels.
The listed side effects are the only ones and depend on the individual characteristics of the disease and the intensity of the shock wave. An experienced doctor and high-quality Swiss and Belgian equipment allows you to carry out the procedure of shock wave therapy in those parameters that neutralize the occurrence of side effects.
It should be noted that the procedure of shock wave therapy itself is not painful (with focused shock wave therapy) or tolerably painful (with radial shock wave therapy) and again depends on the patient's individual sensitivity - the level of his pain threshold. But even in such cases, the doctor regulates the strength of the shock wave and the patient can comfortably endure the SWT procedure.
The average number of shock wave therapy procedures at the Awatage medical center varies from 3 to 7, on average - 5 procedures. Each specific disease may require less or more exposure. For example, in case of muscle spasms, sometimes 1-2 procedures are enough to forget about the problem, and when treating a long-term non-healing bone fracture, it is recommended to undergo a course of 7 SWT sessions. The number of shock wave therapy procedures, for example, to get rid of a heel spur (plantar fasciitis), is set by the attending physician and depends on the stage of the disease, the patient's age and the rate of positive dynamics of recovery (the body's response to treatment).
Doctors of the Awatage medical center adhere to the correct approach to the use of shock wave therapy, taking as a basis an individual approach in drawing up a prescription (protocol) of treatment. There is no point in continuing the procedures if the patient feels a positive result and stable dynamics, because shock wave therapy has a prolonged effect - the further from the first procedure, the better the result. After the end of treatment, the doctors of the Awatage medical center monitor the patient's recovery process for at least two to three months.
It is reliably known that shock wave therapy has a peculiarity - it has a prolonged (remote and / or prolonged in time) effect. The body's response to sessions of shock wave therapy is instantaneous, but the processes that it triggers in the body follow the algorithms established by nature: blood vessels grow (angiogenesis) not in one day, and calcifications or fibrous formations disappear gradually. According to the established world standard, the interval between procedures should be at least 4 days, and on average, sessions of shock wave therapy are repeated for 5-7 days. In older people, recovery processes are slower and this interval can be 10 days, depending on the disease and its stage.
Many people ask, is it possible to do shock wave therapy procedures more often?
It is possible, but the result will not come faster from this - it's all the same as running in front of a locomotive. You will save both time and money by following the correct treatment protocol.
There are exceptions, but they relate more to athletes who need to recover as soon as possible or undergo a rehabilitation course after injuries in the intervals between competitions. Such therapy gives a really positive result due to their young age, excellent physical shape and the corresponding speed of metabolic processes in their body.
The cost of one or another session of shock wave therapy is formed in each case individually, however, before you read the price list, you must understand what factors influence its formation.
First of all, these are:
the number of blows to the corresponding part of the body (established by the SWT techniques);
number of SWT sessions (on average 5-7, however, noticeable improvements can be observed even after 1 session);
a disease that is treated with shock wave therapy, its stage, the patient's age, on which the rate of metabolism and tissue regeneration depends.
The price list indicates the cost based on the established standards for conducting a SWT session, taking into account the developed techniques. But since each person is individual, the approach to treatment itself becomes individual, and the methods are flexible. It is not the person who adapts to the method, but, on the contrary, the method to the person. And our main task is to help the body cope with the disease, taking into account its characteristics.
At the Awatage medical center, patients are consulted and shock wave therapy procedures carried out by orthopedic traumatologists, neurologists, and physiotherapists. If necessary, doctors from other medical fields can be invited or recommended. Our specialists have 15 years of experience in the application of shock waves in medicine on devices from Gymna (Belgium). Regular exchange of experience with doctors from Germany, participation in annual international seminars on shock wave therapy, guarantees a high level of proficiency in the methods of using shock wave therapy.
Our medical center has a very important advantage - we not only own one of the best shock wave therapy devices, but also have the knowledge of its correct use! Since 2019, the specialists of the Awatage medical center have been teaching the SWT methodology at the P.L. Shupik National Medical Academy of Postgraduate Education - recognition of our knowledge and experience at the state level.