Radial Pressure Wave Therapy

Shockwave Introduction:
Therapeutic shockwaves were introduced as a medical treatment for eliminating kidney stones 20 years ago. Some of the side effects discovered during treatments, were the effects on bone healing (bone density increase), as well as accelerated tissue healing in the area.
Today, shock waves are used to treat numerous conditions in Cardiology, Urology, Rehabilitation medicine and Aesthetic medicine.
Now in the modern medical age, the power of shockwave therapy has been harnessed and refined which gave birth to Radial Pressure Wave Therapy.

Physiological effects of Radial Pressure Waves:
Radial pressure waves offer a non-invasive treatment solution to long term insertion and soft tissue pathologies with the main outcomes being; reduced pain, increased cellular proliferation, increased soft tissue blood flow and increased muscle tone.
Effects on pain reduction: Intensive pulses from the transmitter into the tissue create a strong nociceptor activation of the fibres, which affect interneurons that inhibit the transmission of the pain signals. Radial pressure waves may impact the nerve surrounding environment. This is known as the Gate Theory of Pain.
Radial Pressure Wave effects nerve transmission by causing an inflammatory response at a cellular level.
Effects on cells metabolism: The mechanical stress of RPW influence the chemical environment of the cells.
• Activation of self defence system.
• Acceleration of old and weak cells death process.
• Increase of membrane permeability.
• Radial pressure waves influence the tissue on a cellular level. The chemical environment of the cells is affected by free radicals promoting the release of pain and inflammatory inhibiting substances.
• Radial pressure waves play a role on the regulation of the body’s inflammatory process.
Effects on blood flow:
• The histological changes such as the formation of adhesions, increase in the number of fibroblasts, collagen organization, the increase in capillaries, and thickening of the epitenon have been observed in healing tendon.
• Radial pressure waves may be expected to increase the blood circulation in the tissues which are treated. This would increase the oxygen content and significantly reduce the concentration of carbon dioxide in the tissue which stimulates the healing process.
Reduced muscle tone:
• The “vicious circle”, as well as the strong pathological association between pain and muscle tone, will be broken and lead to restoring a normalized muscular tone.
• Radial pressure waves seem to have a counter-irritation and pain modulating effect through GABAergic interneurons (inhibitory neurons of the nervous system that play a vital role in neural circuitry and activity) in the dorsal horn. In addition to this action, the pressure and vibrations of radial pressure waves improve blood circulation and lymphatic drainage.
• The common result of the treatments conducted is a reduction of muscle tone along with diminished extend of muscle shortening.

Indications of Radial Pressure Waves
• The majority of the indications are for what we commonly refer to as insertional tendinopathies/tendonitis.
• Soft/connective tissue/muscles with trigger points or and increased tension are also targets for treatment.
• In many cases radial pressure wave treatment gives excellent results in order to dissolve calcifications.

Examples of indications:

Plantar Fasciitis/Heel Spur
Achillodynia (Achilles tendinopathy)
Shin Splint / Tibial stress syndrome (MTSS)
Muscle Sprain
Jumper’s Knee
Runner’s Knee
Muscular cramps/spasm, muscle tightness
Tibialis Posterior Tendonitis / dysfunction
Tibialis Anterior Tendonitis / dysfunction
Peroneal Tendonitis
Sprain of the lower limb
Osgood–Schlatter disease
Sever’s disease/disorder (calcaneal apophysitis)