How Is Shockwave Therapy Changing the Game for Pro Athletes?

shockwave therapy applied to the wrist

For professional athletes, serious injuries are a constant specter. A pulled ligament or dislocated joint can end a season, costing players time, money, and prestige. In severe cases, a single injury can end a promising career, which is a devastation for the player, their organization, and the fans that rally behind them. For this reason, professional sports teams are always looking for the very best medical treatments available to keep players healthy and get them back on their feet quickly after an injury.

Shockwave therapy is a relatively new treatment that has been embraced by a series of sports teams in recent years to treat ligament, tendon, bone, and joint injuries.

Injuries that can be treated with the proper application of acoustic waves include:

  • Dislocations
  • Subluxations
  • Pulled or sprained joints
  • Muscle spasms
  • Soft tissue injuries

Many of these injuries were once season-ending, if not career-ending, injuries. Shockwave therapy is a great advance in the science of sports medicine.

What Is Softwave™?

Softwave™ is the device used to deliver shockwave therapy. Many devices claim to produce shockwaves, but the Softwave™ has a patented, unique acoustic wave technology to speed healing and recovery. It works by sending diffused waves of acoustic energy through the point of an injury, which simulates the effects of a broader and deeper injury without causing additional damage. By simulating damage, the body’s natural healing abilities and regenerative capabilities are driven into overdrive by your own stem cells, creating new nerves, blood vessels, and healthy tissues around and throughout the targeted area. This rapid regeneration provides the fast long-term healing of minor and serious injuries without needing invasive surgical procedures.

Who Uses Shockwave Therapy?

As you can see in the video above from Laker’s star JaVale McGee, who is undergoing Softwave™ therapy on his knee, this treatment is being performed on players at the top of their respective fields. Note: This technology has several different settings, and the lower, more commonly used settings are much more comfortable unlike the setting used on McGee.

Both basketball, baseball, and other sport organizations have discovered the vast benefits of offering shockwave therapy to their players to treat sports injuries in a manner that does not create additional risks down the road.

Many players develop ligament, tendon, and soft tissue damage as they practice and play. Shockwave therapy can treat many of these injuries either just after they occur, or after the injury becomes apparent, without requiring more invasive surgical treatments.

shockwave therapy applied to the wrist shockwave therapy applied to the wrist
When injuries are more severe and require more significant regeneration than shockwave therapy alone can provide, stem cell regenerative therapies can be combined with acoustic treatments to create exceptional regenerative results.

How Long Does Shockwave Therapy Take?

A single treatment session usually takes about a half-hour, depending on the injury’s size and severity. The pain usually lessens during the treatment as pain mediators are released by the body. Due to the nature of the treatment, initial results occur immediately or within the first 24 hours, with long term results developing over 12 weeks. This can help injured players return to activity soon or in a much reduced time.

Professional sports players are, by definition, highly active people. It’s not easy for such people to be forbidden from exercise due to an injury. Fortunately, with shockwave therapy, players can resume light exercise on an injury as soon as 48 hours after treatment, though vigorous exercise should avoid the treated area for a few weeks. This can vary somewhat, and most athletes should consult with their physical therapist or doctor to ensure it is safe for them to exercise again. This limited period of downtime can not only let players get back to work sooner, but it also means they stay in shape, so it’s easier to get back into the game.

Want to Learn More About Shockwave Therapy?

While this treatment is popular among professional athletes, it is not limited to them. All of us have discomfort in areas of our bodies, whether it is in the back, shoulders, knees, feet, etc. If you are interested in shockwave therapy or other treatments available to treat soft tissue and ligament injuries, please contact us online or call us at (310) 275-5698 to schedule a consultation.

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