Chronic pain can be the cause of a miserable life as pain limits your daily activities and leaves you depending on others for help. Many treatments do not necessarily end chronic pain for patients. This means that after an injury, fracture, or other conditions that cause tissue damage, you may have to endure pain through a slow healing process. However, shockwave therapy is an effective alternative many people use to manage chronic pain. It’s a non-invasive treatment that promotes faster bone and tissue repair and tendon regeneration.
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What is shockwave therapy?
Shockwave therapy, also known as Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy (ESWT) is a non-surgical non-invasive procedure. Patients use it to end pain and speed up recovery when receiving treatments in:
- Veterinary medicine
- And other fields.
Additionally, by using a special medium like gel, shockwave therapy transmits low-energy sound waves. This targets injured spots and affected myoskeletal tissues. The energy from the sound waves stimulates the regeneration and repair of bones, tendons, ligaments, and other soft tissues.
In the past, some people applied shockwave therapy to bone fractures and injuries to tendons and ligaments for chronic conditions like plantar fasciitis and Achilles Tendinopathy. Recently, this kind of therapy has proven its effectiveness in the treatment of erectile dysfunction. It ultimately speeds up recovery, decreases chronic pain, and restores mobility through faster tissue regeneration.
Benefits of shockwave therapy
Shockwave therapy has many benefits for patients suffering from acute or chronic pain and other conditions. Aside from faster relief from pain and quality of life, this therapy comes with the following benefits:
- In essence, it channels energy to targeted spots for treatment. Also, it does not require the use of medication.
- it is an effective treatment option for a broad range of health conditions including tendonitis, Achilles tendinopathy, plantar fasciitis, myofascial pain syndrome, and more.
- This therapy helps relieve chronic inflammation which is often the cause of chronic pain and ache. Inflammation is often caused by injuries which in turn lead to tissue death.
- It stimulates blood circulation to body parts that build the body’s ability to regenerate tissues. Also, it can help improve blood circulation to the spots under treatment ultimately speeding up the healing process.
- It releases trigger points. These may result from injury, muscle overuse during strenuous activities, or psychological stress and cause muscle stiffness along the spine.
How does shockwave therapy work?
Both the home shockwave therapy machine and the professional units are handheld devices built with a projectile. In turn, this transmits compressed air in the form of radial shockwaves generated by the compressor. Then, energy transfers from the applicator to the skin into the deeper tissues at the targeted spot. The compressor is the controller of the device and can adjust the frequency and pressure of the shockwaves.
There are two types of shockwave therapies. These are:
- Focused high-energy shockwave therapy: Produces shockwaves that target a single point thus penetrating deeper (up to 12.5cm into body tissues). This type of therapy is ideal for releasing trigger points, bone fractures, osteoarthritis, and joint pains.
- Radial low-energy shockwave therapy: Transmits energy more on the outside up to 5cm under the skin, but on a larger surface area. Radial shockwave therapy is good for inflammation relief, myofascial pain relief, and pain relief for large muscle groups.
The shockwaves work in two ways:
- They desensitize nerve endings to reduce pain instantly.
- They cause a very small trauma on the tissues which stimulates the body to respond by increasing metabolism and blood circulation in the injured area for faster healing.
The number of therapies you need to heal depends on the issue, its severity, and tissue response to therapy. For instance, you may only require two therapies for pain relief and up to six therapies for erectile dysfunction. Ideally, experiencing relief after the first treatment indicates a positive response to the therapy.
Can you do shockwave therapy at home?
Yes, you can do shockwave therapy at home with a mobile therapist. You can also self-apply for shockwave therapy in the comfort of your home. There are several reasons why people prefer shockwave therapy performed at home. These include:
- Availability for continual use
Do home shock wave machines work?
Yes, home shockwave therapy machines work. Lately, shockwave therapy devices are available for home use as well as for use by professionals in their clinics. However, it is important to note that using a shockwave therapy machine at home, you need to get the right unit for your needs. You also need to know how to adjust the right settings for the spot you aim to apply the therapy.
Factors to consider when purchasing a shockwave therapy device
Look out for these following features when planning to purchase a shockwave therapy machine for home use.
- Size and portability
The compact and portable shockwave therapy machine for home use is easy to use. It is great not only for home use but also for on-the-go users who need something they can use as they move from place to place. To make carrying it convenient, this unit is usually packaged with a carrying case for safe storage. While most home users will prefer the smaller lightweight plug-and-play devices, the larger ones with broader functionality are best for therapists.
- Transmission heads
The transmission head of a therapy device determines which body tissue it’s for. Many devices will have 4-7 transmission heads of various shapes and sizes to treat different body tissues effectively. Also, to extend the functionality of the device, consider buying one that is compatible with separate transmission heads.
- Frequency range
A device with a broader frequency range can deliver both focused and radial shockwave therapies. On the other hand, high-frequency devices are limited to focused shockwave therapy or low-frequency devices, otherwise known as radial shockwave therapy.
An ergonomic handle makes it easy to hold and use the device comfortably. Also, ensure that you get one with a non-slip handle for easier handling.
A non-complicated display that is easy to use with simple button controls. Some devices have a touch screen, others only have an LED display screen for showing information and control buttons for manipulating the device. For the elderly, a display with large, easy-to-read characters is the most ideal.
Best Shockwave Therapy Machines for Home Use
In reviewing the best shockwave therapy machine for home use, the three devices below topped our list of the best. They are designed to last and come with greater functionality and easier operation.
#1 Focket Extracorporeal Shock Wave Machine
This Extracorporeal shockwave machine with 6 massage heads by Focket is a professional-grade device that users can use at home. Plus, it doubles as a pain reliever and massager and can treat a wide range of human tissues. For example, tissues at the head, neck, shoulder, etc., as well as for erectile dysfunction conditions.
This high-frequency massager features intelligent adjustment of massage intensity that enables it to penetrate deep into the fascia to:
- Stimulate blood circulation
- Increase cell metabolism
- Deliver an anti-inflammatory effect.
In the end, you get faster pain relief and treatment of pain-causing conditions.
- Comes with 6 different massage heads making it versatile and functional for different parts of the body.
- A high-frequency massager penetrates deep under the skin.
- It’s portable for on-the-go use.
- Noisy operation.
- Excels at massage more than therapy.
- It may feel heavy for some users.
#2 DH beauty Portable 3621 Electromagnetic Shock Wave V100 Therapy Machine
This portable electromagnetic shockwave therapy machine comes with 7 massage heads along with their protective sleeves. The V100 electromagnetic shockwave is good for both focused and radial shockwave therapy. It has 6 different modes and can deliver up to 16 frequencies in 27 energy levels for effective:
- Relief from pain
- Dissolution of calcified fibroblasts
- Improved circulation
- Increased metabolism
It is easy to operate with a one-button press to turn it on and off. Furthermore, it has an easy-to-use touch screen display for adjusting the frequency and shockwave intensity. This unit is also lightweight and conveniently portable.
- Delivers both focused and radial shockwave therapy.
- It offers 6 operation modes and a wide frequency and energy level range for greater functionality.
- Comes with 7 massage heads for treating a wide range of issues in different body parts.
- Non-slip material would be better for better handling.
#3 Focket ED Pain Relief Massager
This unit is another great ED pain relief massager from Focket’s line of products. As a high-efficient electromagnetic shockwave therapy machine it’s great for deep tissue percussion for faster recovery of sore muscles.
It comes with 7 massage heads and blue and grey silicone covers. Additionally, it’s designed with a handle making it versatile and easy to handle. This pain relief massager is made of durable ABS and will give you service for a long time to come. This device is a great choice for treating tissues in different body parts. All in all, it will ease muscle pain and promote blood circulation for faster healing.
- 7 massage heads make it a versatile shockwave therapy device.
- It offers a wide range of frequency and shockwave intensities.
- Built to last.
- Comes with a handle for easy operation.
- Noisy operation.
Shockwave refers to the wave produced by compressed air whose intensity increases rapidly in a short time and then decreases gradually. Shockwave therapy machines prove that they’re beneficial for chronic aches and are non-invasive. The upside is they don’t require the use of medication either. Shockwave therapy can help repair damaged body tissues and musculoskeletal disorders. Another plus is that shockwave therapy can also help treat erectile dysfunction and body reshaping.