Pros and Cons of Shockwave Therapy

a shockwave therapy session where a practitioner is applying the treatment to a patient's shoulder.

The most popular type of shockwave therapy is EPAT (Extracorporeal Pulse Activation Therapy). Shockwave therapy is a treatment that employs sound waves to aid in the healing of wounded tissue. EPAT has been demonstrated to be a helpful treatment for a range of problems, including plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendinitis, and tennis elbow. However, there are certain drawbacks to EPAT therapy. In this post, we will look at the pros and cons of EPAT therapy.


What is Shockwave Therapy and How Does it Work

Shockwave therapy is a newer therapeutic option for conditions ranging from plantar fasciitis to persistent shoulder pain. High-energy sound waves are aimed at the afflicted area during treatment, causing the tissue to regenerate and heal. Furthermore, shockwave therapy has been demonstrated to reduce inflammation and break up scar tissue. While some data suggest that shockwave therapy is a viable therapeutic option, more research is required to prove its effectiveness.


The Pros of Shockwave Therapy

There are several potential benefits associated with shockwave therapy.


#1 Best Effective Treatment

EPAT has been shown to be an effective treatment for a range of problems, including plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendinitis, and tennis elbow. Furthermore, EPAT has been found to be beneficial in the treatment of persistent shoulder pain.


#2 Helps to Reduce or Eliminate Chronic Pain

EPAT is over 80% effective, with patients reporting pain-free or considerable pain reduction after only four treatment sessions.


#3 Quick and Simple Treatment

EPAT therapy is a quick treatment with little recovery time.

It usually only takes four treatment sessions per week. Each session lasts only 10-15 minutes. Furthermore, there is very little recovery time. Patients are usually able to resume normal activities 24 to 48 hours following each treatment session.


#4 Repairs Scar Tissue to Improve Circulation

Long-term tendonitis frequently results in the formation of scar tissue in the tendon. This can result in chronic pain, stiffness, and weakness. Doctors can break up the scar tissue with EPAT and allow the tendon to heal normally. This all contributes to improved circulation in the targeted location. Increased blood flow allows the body to mend effectively without the formation of scar tissue, which causes long-term pain or discomfort.


#5 Less painful

EPAT is a non-invasive treatment option that is typically well tolerated by patients.

The Cons of Shockwave Therapy

There are also some potential risks and side effects associated with EPAT therapy.


#1 Skin irritation

Bruising or skin irritation at the area of treatment is the most common side effect of EPAT therapy.


#2 Short-term Pain Escalation

EPAT has also been linked to a brief increase in pain following therapy. This increase in pain, however, is normally transient and should decrease within a few days.


#3 Skin Burns and Nerve Damage

EPAT has been linked to more serious adverse effects in rare circumstances, such as nerve damage or skin burns.


#4 There is no Insurance Coverage.

Despite the fact that shockwave therapy has been approved by the FDA and has been proven safe and effective in multiple research trials, many insurances have been slow to cover the operation.


#5 Time-consuming – If you are pressed for time

A normal shockwave therapy treatment course may involve 2-3 sessions, maybe more if the injury is severe. While these appointments are brief and simple, they may be slightly more inconvenient for those who work during the day than single-appointment therapies such as steroid injections.


#6 It is not Suitable for Everyone

Although shockwave therapy is quite safe for the vast majority of patients, doctors do not suggest it in a few cases. Pregnancy, certain cardiac diseases, and taking medicine that interferes with blood clotting are all examples of risk factors.


In addition, depending on the severity of your symptoms, doctors may or may not offer shockwave therapy if you have neuropathy or hypersensitivity in the target area.


EPAT is a safe and efficient therapy option for a wide range of injuries. EPAT is a non-invasive treatment that most patients handle well. Weigh the benefits and drawbacks of this treatment before making a decision. Finally, see your doctor for a more in-depth discussion of treatment options.


To know more about this therapy, you can read some articles here.