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Blast Away Pain: Unveiling the Healing Powers of Shockwave Therapy

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Have you ever heard of shockwave therapy? This innovative approach to pain relief and tissue regeneration is gaining traction in the field of healthcare, and for good reason. It’s a non-invasive treatment that utilizes high-energy sound waves to stimulate the body’s natural healing process. In this article, we will delve into the fascinating world of shockwave therapy, exploring its mechanism of action, applications, safety profile, and future directions.

Understanding Shockwave Therapy

Before we dive deeper into the topic, let’s begin by understanding what shockwave therapy actually is. Shockwave therapy, also known as Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy (ESWT), originated from the use of shockwaves to break apart kidney stones non-invasively. However, its potential benefits for pain management and tissue regeneration were quickly recognized by healthcare professionals.

There are two types of shockwave therapy: radial and focused. Radial shockwaves are dispersed over a larger area and are often used for treating superficial conditions, while focused shockwaves are concentrated and penetrate deeper into the body, making them ideal for targeting specific areas. Both methods have been proven effective in pain relief and promoting healing.

The shockwaves themselves are generated outside the body and transmitted through a handheld device. These high-energy sound waves are then directed toward the affected area, stimulating various physiological processes within the tissues.

How Shockwave Therapy Works

So, how exactly does shockwave therapy work? The answer lies in its ability to harness the body’s own healing mechanisms. When shockwaves are applied to an area, they create a controlled microtrauma that initiates an inflammatory response. This triggers an increase in blood circulation, the formation of new blood vessels (angiogenesis), and the release of growth factors, which all work together to promote tissue regeneration and healing.

Moreover, shockwave therapy has been found to modulate pain perception. It can help disrupt pain signals, providing relief to those suffering from chronic pain conditions. This makes shockwave therapy an appealing option for individuals looking to avoid or reduce their reliance on pain medication.

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Applications of Shockwave Therapy

Shockwave therapy has a wide range of applications and has shown remarkable success in treating various conditions. One area where it shines is in the management of musculoskeletal disorders. Conditions such as plantar fasciitis, tendonitis, and calcific tendinitis have been effectively treated with shockwave therapy, providing patients with much-needed pain relief and an opportunity to regain their mobility.

One of the advantages of shockwave therapy is that it offers a non-invasive alternative to traditional treatment methods. In some cases, it can even serve as a viable alternative to surgery, helping patients avoid the risks and recovery time associated with invasive procedures.

Countless success stories and testimonials exist from individuals who have experienced the transformative powers of shockwave therapy. From athletes looking to recover from sports-related injuries to those suffering from chronic pain, shockwave therapy has emerged as a game-changer in healthcare.

Safety and Side Effects

Naturally, when considering any form of therapy or treatment, safety is a significant concern. Fortunately, shockwave therapy has a favorable safety profile. It is non-invasive, eliminating the need for surgical procedures or anesthesia. Unlike medications, shockwave therapy also minimizes the risk of systemic side effects since it primarily targets the affected area.

Like with any procedure, there may be some side effects, although they are rare and typically temporary. Some individuals may experience mild discomfort, bruising, or skin redness for a short period following the treatment. It is worth noting that shockwave therapy may not be suitable for individuals with certain conditions or during specific stages of pregnancy, so it is essential to consult with a healthcare professional before undergoing treatment.

Integrating Shockwave Therapy into Healthcare

Shockwave therapy has seamlessly integrated into various healthcare practices. It complements other treatments such as physiotherapy or chiropractic care, enhancing the overall effectiveness of the therapy. Many medical facilities now offer shockwave therapy as part of their range of treatment options, giving patients the opportunity to benefit from its healing potential.

One of the significant advantages of shockwave therapy is its cost-effectiveness. By opting for shockwave therapy over more invasive methods like surgery, individuals may save significant amounts of money in the long run. This not only benefits patients but also reduces the burden on healthcare systems.

Future Directions and Innovations

As we move towards the future, the potential for shockwave therapy continues to expand. Researchers and clinicians are continually exploring new applications and techniques to further harness the benefits of shockwave therapy. Ongoing studies and clinical trials aim to broaden the understanding of shockwave therapy’s potential, opening the door for even more precise and effective treatment options.

With its growing popularity and the promising results it offers, it won’t be long before shockwave therapy becomes a mainstream treatment option in healthcare. As technology advances and research progresses, we can expect even more exciting innovations in the field of shockwave therapy.


If you’re seeking pain relief or hoping to accelerate your healing process, shockwave therapy should unquestionably be on your radar. This remarkable treatment harnesses the power of high-energy sound waves to revitalize and rejuvenate your body. Its non-invasive nature, coupled with its effectiveness, makes it a fantastic alternative to more traditional approaches.

However, while shockwave therapy provides significant benefits, it is essential to consult with healthcare professionals who can tailor the treatment to your specific needs. By joining forces with experts in the field, you can confidently embark on your journey towards a pain-free and revitalized life.

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What is Shockwave Therapy?

Shockwave therapy is a treatment method that uses high-energy radial pressure waves (or RPWs) to eliminate pain and improve mobility. These acoustic waves travel to inflamed areas prone to chronic damage and intense pain. 

These shock waves manipulate the targeted tissues by accelerating cell growth and repair. In doing so, the treatment can have several effects, including:

These effects work together to quickly repair tendons, bones, and soft tissues that are subject to chronic pain without the need for painkillers, injections or surgery.

Myofascial Acoustic Compression Therapy (Shockwave Therapy) is a relatively new technology in the United States but has been used in Europe for many years. Shockwave Therapy Is an effective treatment focused on targeting the soft tissues affected by acute or chronic pain using acoustic waves. Utilizing acoustic pressure, it manipulates the targeted soft tissues in a precise spot giving a deep tissue procedure that directly targets at greater depths, without injuring the skin or superficial structures. Myofascial Acoustic Compression Therapy (Shockwave Therapy) can lead to improved circulation, pain reduction and healthy tissue remodeling in bone, tendon, and ligaments. Shockwave Therapy is for those who are dealing with Myofascial (AKA muskuloskeletal) pain syndrome. Disorders in the presence of myofascial trigger points that form abnormal tissue underneath the skin cause an increase in tension, lack of flexibility and increased pain. Shockwave Therapy helps to precisely identify these types of fibrotic changes and can help rehabilitate the muscle back to its original healthy state and restore motion by effectively targeting and treating them. 

How can Shockwave Therapy Help You? 

The musculoskeletal system is a highly complex process involving numerous muscle groups that are perfectly synchronized to one another creating one unit. When a person develops pain in a specific area, the “creating one unit” of muscle groups makes it difficult to define or identify the actual originating source. Assuming that the primary issue arises at the site of pain is a common mistake. Conventional pain treatments are often ineffective and fail when they focus on treating the symptoms rather than treating the underlying cause. 

Shockwave Therapy moves away from that common misconception and helps to locate the actual source of the problem. By using the acoustic waves directed at trigger points, they are able to reproduce the referred pain(a pain that is portrayed to be in a different location than the injury) and can therefore be used to determine exactly where the injury originated. The most common conditions treated with Shockwave Therapy are hip/leg pain, overuse of stress injury, knee pain, MCL injury, back/neck pain, Achilles tendonitis, muscular strain, muscular adhesions, tennis/golfer’s elbow, frozen shoulder, or swimming shoulder.

Treatment starts by applying a small amount of coupling gel to the surface of the skin to help translate the waves through the superficial layers and into the deeper targeted area. The beginning of the treatment will start at a lower output setting, and the provider will slowly increase the intensity of the waves to the appropriate level to best suit your condition.  It is important to communicate back and forth during your treatment.  We don’t want to add additional pain due to the intensity of the waves from the Piezowave 2. Shockwave Therapy is intended to work with your body, not against it. Through the application of focused energy, the inflammatory and repair responses of the natural body are activated and sped up. Responding to this physical stress, the cells release their own healing agents, which leads to the body repairing and eventually healing itself. 

Understanding Basic Treatment of Shockwave Therapy

With this unique technology, medical professionals can reduce pain and heal the human body successfully without having to resort to drugs or surgery. The Piezowave 2 directly focuses on reaching deep into the tissue and joints that can’t be reached by hand or other conventional sources by using short and strong pulsed waves that travel at the speed of sound (Mach 1).  The Piezowave 2 machine, unlike other shockwave machines, can adjust the intensity, frequency and depth of the shockwave waves according to your symptoms, making treatment more comfortable, and less painful thereby providing the ideal level of therapeutic benefit. 

The length of the treatment varies depending on the complexity and size of the pain area that we are treating. There is no set time period for the Piezowave 2 machine, rather it is determined by the number of pulses needed to treat the area. In one treatment session, about 2,000 to 3,000 pulse waves are sent into the target area in a relatively brief period of time. Commonly 3-6 sessions are administered for maximum benefit.

Post-Treatment Care

It is important with this treatment as with most others that you become actively involved in your recovery. We will encourage you to follow our recommendations which will assist to facilitate more long lasting relief. These may include exercise, moist heat and other modalities. When patients participate in their recovery we have seen more rapid results and long term benefit. There is a success rate of 65% to 95% reported by a vast majority of studies. After treatment care, early relief of symptoms will start to take place. The body’s own healing processes are set in motion and a return to full activity should not happen immediately even if there is a rapid improvement.  It will be important to avoid activities that irritate the area of injury for several weeks post treatment. You may experience some minor aches or discomfort after treatment, but these should be short lived and resolve quickly. 

Chronic injuries and pain can have a devastating effect on your quality of life. Some days, relief may seem impossible to find. With so many treatments to choose from, the process of finding the right one can be severely overwhelming.

Luckily, there’s one treatment method that might just give you the relief you’re looking for. Shockwave therapy is a relatively new non-invasive means of pain relief and mobility improvement that many people have sought as a way to eliminate chronic injuries and pain. 

What is shockwave therapy like?

Shockwave therapy is a quick, non-invasive treatment method that only requires a few basic steps.

To start, a coupling gel will be spread onto your skin to help the acoustic waves penetrate into the deeper affected tissues. Then, the shockwave applicator is used to direct the healing waves to your areas of pain. From here, the shockwave’s intensity is gradually increased, depending on the severity of your condition. The intensity is administered in conjunction with individual tolerance.

Through the use of this intense and focused treatment, your cells will release healing agents that work to speed up the elimination of inflammation and pain in order to finally help you find relief.

The Benefits of Shockwave Therapy

At this point, you might still be on the fence about shockwave therapy. However, the treatment provides patients with a number of benefits.

Read on for a list of benefits you can enjoy with shockwave therapy, and you’ll see why the treatment is exactly what you need to help eliminate chronic pain and provide true healing.

Quick, Non-Invasive Treatment

Many people become so haunted by chronic pain that they opt for extreme treatment methods that are invasive and often dangerous, such as injections, surgeries or powerful painkillers. Luckily, relief can be found much more easily using shockwave therapy. 

Shockwave therapy is completely non-invasive and doesn’t require a major commitment. To receive treatment, all you need to do is make an appointment and allow the acoustic waves to find and treat your pain on their own while you lie back and relax.

Shockwave therapy also requires very little time to complete and can be worked into any busy schedule. Generally, only three to six sessions are needed; the lengths of which vary depending on your level of pain. Sessions usually last only fifteen to twenty minutes (though longer periods may be needed for long-standing chronic injuries), and most patients report drastic pain decreases after just one session. Those with mobility issues also report improvements after one or two sessions as the shockwaves stimulate collagen production, increase blood flow and loosen up tight muscles, tendons and ligaments.

What are the Side Effects of Shockwave Therapy?

Shockwave therapy patients can also enjoy a much lower risk of side effects than those who opt for invasive treatments like injections, medications or surgery. The likelihood of developing side effects depends largely on your overall health when starting treatment.

The most prevalent side effect that patients report is some mild discomfort that could last for several hours after your initial session. Slight bruising, swelling, or numbness has also been reported. However, depending on your health, many patients suffer no side effects at all.

Is Shockwave Therapy Affordable?

Another great benefit of shockwave therapy is its affordability. Alternative treatments like injections or surgeries are not only extremely expensive, and do not guarantee the elimination of your pain. 

On the other hand, shockwave therapy is much more affordable, with most practitioners charging a reasonable fee for each session and even discounts when purchasing multiple sessions. This way, you can enjoy treatment that actually helps you feel your best without emptying your bank account.

Shockwave is a Pain-Free Treatment for Chronic Pain

Invasive treatments like surgery can often lead to more pain temporarily, rather than less. But with shockwave therapy, you won’t spend weeks or months recovering from your treatment.

While shockwave therapy is not sensation-free, you’ll likely experience nothing worse than a mild discomfort during your session, similar to that of a deep tissue massage. However, almost immediately afterward, you’ll enjoy the feeling of being free from debilitating chronic pain.

Fast Recovery and Long-Lasting Relief

One of the greatest benefits of shockwave therapy is its extremely quick activation time. In fact, many patients have reported significant decreased pain immediately after just one session, and increased mobility and range of motion after two. 

The recovery period after shockwave therapy is also relatively short. You’ll likely be required to restrict high-impact activity for 24- 48 hours after each session, and will likely have no trouble readjusting to normal activity afterward. Plus, with shockwave therapy’s long-lasting relief, you’ll stay pain-free long after you’ve finished your final session.

Science-Backed Results

Shockwave therapy isn’t just another fad treatment that fails to provide concrete results. Study after study has confirmed the method’s effectiveness in eliminating chronic pain and increasing mobility. By opting for shockwave therapy at Boulder Back Pain clinic our goal is to ensure that you are getting a well established therapy at a reasonable cost.

Quality Shockwave Therapy in Boulder, CO at Boulder Back Pain Clinic

With simple, quick treatments and a host of benefits, shockwave therapy is easily one of the best treatment methods for those who are tired of dealing with chronic pain and injuries. Stop letting chronic pain control your life and your well being.

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Malana L.

I've been seeing Dr. Cahn for over 3 years now and love that he is relaxed, genuine, and personal.  He has helped resolve issues with my neck, low back, and hip. I go in for the treatment, but it's probably the great conversations we have that keep me coming back!

Amy M.

Dr. Cahn is highly knowledgeable and skilled in providing excellent care to their patients. They were instrumental in getting me through an injury to be able to compete competitively in triathlon this season. I would highly recommend them to anyone needing high level chiropractic care!

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