Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy (ESWT)
ESWT has been used for many years in human medicine to treat many orthopaedic conditions such as tennis elbow, shoulder and heel injuries etc and is now a commonly used and effective treatment in equine medicine.
Some of the conditions commonly treated using ESWT include:
- Wounds and Chronic Wound Care
- Acupressure Points
- Non-union or delayed-healing of Fractured Bones
- Large Muscles
- Tendon Injuries
- Chronic Back Pain
- Ligament Injuries
- Painful Scar Tissue
- Trigger Points
- Connective Tissue
- Cosmetic Applications
Specific equine pathologies that have successfully been treated with Shock Wave Therapy include:
- Insertional desmopathies such as proximal suspensory ligament desmitis, suspensory branch desmitis, suspensory avulsion fractures, inferior check ligament desmitis, distal sesamoidean ligament desmitis, nuchal ligament, and other ligament injuries
- Tendinopathies with & without calcification such as superficial & deep digital flexor tendon injuries, e.g. bowed tendons.
- Metacarpal Stress Fractures & dorsal metacarpal disease such as bucked shins
- Fractures & stress fractures of splints, coffin bone fractures
- Tibial & humeral stress fractures, and Bone Exostosis
- Angular Limb Deformities (ALD) in Foals
- Sesamoiditis & Sesamoid fractures
- Navicular Syndrome (Caudal heel pain)
- Osteoarthritis such as pastern degenerative joint disease (DJD), Ringbone, and hock degenerative joint disease, Bone Spavin
- Osteochondrosis lesions (OCD)
- Soreness/Stiffness in muscles and gluts
- Sore back problems such as dorsal spinal process, sacroiliac problems, and Kissing Spines
The shock waves are created, emitted and directed onto the injured area. When the shock waves meet different types of tissues with differing make ups (i.e. bone/soft tissue interface) changes within the tissue are created.
- Vasodilation and new vessel growth
- Stem cell activation
- Anti-inflammatory effects
- Release of growth factors
- Release of neurotransmitters
- Increases blood supply
- Regenerates soft tissue
- Regenerates bone
- Reduces pain
- Promotes faster healing
Essentially, shockwaves work by marshaling the natural healing response and can be applied safely and easily without the risk of any side effects.
The treatment can be useful in cases of chronic pain that have been unresponsive to conventional treatment and typically involves three treatments at two week intervals.