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A healthcare professional wearing gloves uses a blue and black device to administer shockwave therapy to the elbow of a shirtless male patient. The patient, lying on a white medical bed, is receiving this game-changing solution focused on the outer side of his tennis elbow.

Treating Tennis Elbow with Shockwave Therapy: A Game-Changing Solution

Tennis elbow, or lateral epicondylitis, is a painful condition resulting from overuse of the elbow, commonly affecting athletes and individuals engaged in repetitive arm movements. Traditional treatments like rest, anti-inflammatory medications, and physical therapy often provide relief, but for many sufferers, these methods fall short. Enter shockwave therapy, a cutting-edge treatment that is revolutionizing how we approach this common issue.

What is Shockwave Therapy?

Shockwave therapy, also known as extracorporeal shockwave therapy (ESWT), involves delivering high-energy sound waves to the affected area. This non-invasive treatment has gained popularity for its effectiveness in treating various musculoskeletal conditions, including tennis elbow. The sound waves promote healing by stimulating blood flow, reducing inflammation, and breaking down scar tissue.

How Does Shockwave Therapy Work for Tennis Elbow?

1. Stimulation of Blood Flow: One of the primary benefits of shockwave therapy is its ability to enhance circulation. Increased blood flow to the affected area brings more oxygen and nutrients, which are crucial for tissue repair and regeneration. This helps in speeding up the healing process of the damaged tendons associated with tennis elbow.

2. Reduction of Pain and Inflammation: Shockwave therapy can significantly reduce pain and inflammation. The mechanical pressure exerted by the shockwaves interrupts the pain signalling pathways and increases the production of endorphins, the body’s natural painkillers. Additionally, the therapy helps in reducing inflammation by dispersing the accumulation of fluid and inflammatory cells.

3. Breakdown of Scar Tissue: Chronic cases of tennis elbow often involve the formation of scar tissue, which can impede the healing process. Shockwave therapy breaks down these fibrous tissues, facilitating the restoration of normal tendon structure and function. This results in improved flexibility and reduced discomfort.

4. Promotion of Collagen Production: Collagen is a vital protein that provides strength and structure to tendons. Shockwave therapy stimulates the production of collagen, which aids in the repair of damaged tendons and improves their tensile strength, helping to prevent future injuries.

What to Expect During Treatment

A typical shockwave therapy session for tennis elbow is quick and straightforward. The procedure involves applying a gel to the affected area to enhance the transmission of shockwaves. A handheld device is then used to deliver controlled pulses of high-energy sound waves directly to the elbow. Each session usually lasts about 15-20 minutes, and most patients require multiple sessions spaced a week apart to achieve optimal results.

Advantages

Non-Invasive: Unlike surgical options, shockwave therapy does not require incisions, reducing the risk of infection and other complications.

Quick Recovery: Patients can often resume normal activities shortly after treatment, with minimal downtime.

Long-Lasting Relief: Many patients experience significant pain relief and improved function after just a few sessions.

Minimal Side Effects: Shockwave therapy is generally well-tolerated, with few reported side effects, mostly limited to mild discomfort during treatment and temporary redness or swelling afterward.

Conclusion

Shockwave therapy offers a promising and effective treatment option for individuals suffering from tennis elbow. By enhancing blood flow, reducing pain and inflammation, breaking down scar tissue, and promoting collagen production, this innovative therapy addresses the root causes of the condition rather than merely masking the symptoms. For those who have not found relief through conventional treatments, shockwave therapy could be the key to getting back in the game and enjoying a pain-free life.

If you’re struggling with tennis elbow, consult one of Valeo Health Clinic’s healthcare professionals to see if shockwave therapy in Kelowna is right for you.