YOUR HEALTH: Ease chronic pain with shockwave therapy

By Dr. Brigitte Tetrault

Anyone who suffers from chronic bone or joint injuries knows pain.

Tennis elbow, plantar fasciitis, heel spurs, rotator cuff disorders and rock-hard muscles are some of the most common persistent musculoskeletal issues.

Aside from being painful, these conditions also tend to be stubborn injuries that require ongoing physical therapy, and often surgery, to alleviate. That’s why more and more people are turning to Shockwave Therapy (SWT) for relief from these and other nagging conditions.

Derived from lithotripsy, a technique that uses shockwaves to break up kidney stones, SWT is a quick, non-invasive treatment that helps reverse chronic inflammation, dissolve calcium build-up and stimulate collagen production.

The benefits of shockwave therapy can include tendon regeneration, increased blood vessel growth and a decrease in pain and sensitivity.

During treatment, high-energy sound waves, called shockwaves, are directed at the injured area through a small, hand-held device. These waves break up any pain-causing calcium deposits while also producing an analgesic effect.

The shockwaves interact with the body’s tissues and speed up healing by initiating an inflammatory and vascular response from your body’s immune system. Healing occurs over several treatments, relieving pain and increasing functionality of the injured area. Depending on the severity of the condition being treated, three to five treatments are typical.

Most of our clients describe the experience of SWT therapy as feeling “strange” or “mildly uncomfortable.” The actual therapy sessions are only about five to ten minutes long, and treatment intensity can be adjusted. Patients usually feel relief immediately following treatment, although there may be some achiness in the general treatment area for a few hours afterward.

To find out if SWT holds the key to alleviating your nagging, painful injuries, give us a call at Courtenay Healing Centre. Who knows – it could save you from a date with a surgeon!

Dr. Brigitte Tetrault is a Doctor of Traditional Chinese Medicine and acupuncturist at Courtenay Healing Centre. She can be reached at 250-338-2866 or


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