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Shockwave Therapy

North Bay Spine and Rehab

Chiropractic Medicine & Auto Injury Specialists located in Lutz, FL

What is Shockwave Therapy?

In the field of Chiropractic care, Shockwave Therapy refers to the application of extracorporeal shock waves to address musculoskeletal conditions and promote healing. Chiropractors may use shockwave therapy as a non-invasive treatment option to complement traditional chiropractic techniques. The therapy involves the use of a device that generates acoustic waves, which are directed towards the affected area to stimulate tissue repair and reduce pain. The primary goal is to enhance the overall effectiveness of chiropractic care by addressing soft tissue issues, such as tendonitis or muscle injuries, in addition to spinal adjustments.

In the context of chiropractic practice, shockwave therapy is often integrated into a comprehensive treatment plan that may include adjustments, exercises, and other modalities tailored to the patient's specific musculoskeletal condition. Chiropractors who incorporate shockwave therapy typically aim to provide a holistic approach to care, addressing both the structural and soft tissue components of a patient's symptoms.

It's important to note that the use of shockwave therapy in chiropractic care may vary among practitioners, and its application will depend on the individual patient's needs and the chiropractor's assessment of the condition. 


What conditions benefit from Shockwave Therapy?

Shockwave therapy is commonly used to treat a variety of musculoskeletal conditions, both in medical and chiropractic settings. While the effectiveness can vary from person to person, and it may not be suitable for everyone, shockwave therapy has shown positive results in the treatment of the following conditions:

  • Plantar Fasciitis: Shockwave therapy is often used to alleviate heel pain associated with plantar fasciitis by promoting tissue healing and reducing inflammation in the plantar fascia.
  • Tendonitis: Various forms of tendonitis, such as Achilles tendonitis, tennis elbow (lateral epicondylitis), and golfer's elbow (medial epicondylitis), may benefit from shockwave therapy to stimulate healing in the affected tendons.
  • Calcific Shoulder Tendinopathy: Shockwave therapy can be used to break down calcifications in the shoulder tendons, improving mobility and reducing pain in conditions like calcific rotator cuff tendinopathy.
  • Muscle Injuries: Some types of muscle injuries, such as strains and tears, may benefit from shockwave therapy by promoting the healing of damaged muscle fibers and reducing associated pain.
  • Chronic Pain: Chronic musculoskeletal pain, especially in areas such as the back, neck, or hips, may be addressed with shockwave therapy to stimulate tissue repair and improve blood circulation.
  • Hip Bursitis: Inflammation of the bursa in the hip joint (hip bursitis) may be relieved with shockwave therapy, promoting healing and reducing pain.
  • Stress Fractures: Shockwave therapy may be considered as part of the treatment plan for stress fractures, aiding in the healing process.
  • Shin Splints (Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome): Shin splints often involve inflammation of the muscles, tendons, and periosteum (the covering of the bone) along the shin. Shockwave therapy aims to promote tissue healing by stimulating blood flow and reducing inflammation. Also by addressing the underlying inflammatory process, shockwave therapy may help alleviate pain and discomfort associated with shin splints.


What happens during a Shockwave Therapy session?

During a shockwave therapy session, the following general steps are typically involved:

    1. Assessment and Diagnosis:

      • Before initiating shockwave therapy, the healthcare provider will conduct a thorough assessment to diagnose the specific condition and determine whether shockwave therapy is an appropriate treatment option.
    2. Patient Preparation:

      • The patient may be asked to wear suitable clothing and, in some cases, to expose the area that requires treatment. For example, if the treatment is for plantar fasciitis, the patient may need to expose the affected foot.
    3. Application of Gel:

      • A conductive gel is applied to the skin over the targeted area. This gel helps transmit the shockwaves efficiently and ensures good contact between the shockwave device and the skin.
    4. Shockwave Application:

      • The healthcare provider then uses a handheld shockwave therapy device to deliver controlled shockwaves to the affected area. The device is moved around the treatment area, delivering pulses of acoustic energy.
    5. Sensation and Discomfort:

      • Patients may experience a pulsating or tapping sensation during the shockwave application. While the procedure is generally well-tolerated, some discomfort or mild pain may be felt, especially at higher energy levels. However, the intensity is usually adjusted to a level that the patient can tolerate.
    6. Duration of Session:

      • The entire session typically lasts around 15 to 30 minutes, depending on the specific condition being treated and the area involved.
    7. Post-Session Instructions:

      • After the shockwave therapy session, the healthcare provider may provide instructions on post-treatment care. This may include recommendations for rest, ice, elevation, or specific exercises, depending on the nature of the treated condition.
    8. Follow-Up Sessions:

      • In many cases, a series of shockwave therapy sessions may be recommended. The frequency and total number of sessions can vary based on the individual's response to treatment and the specific condition being addressed.


  1. Patients considering shockwave therapy as part of their chiropractic treatment should consult with Dr. Bowser to understand how it fits into their overall care plan and whether it is an appropriate option for their specific situation.



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