What is ESWT?
ESWT stands for extracorporeal shock wave therapy. This technology has also been known as acoustic wave therapy or AWT. The ESWT device generates a tiny shock wave that passes through our tissues to promote healing. Large versions of ESWT have been used for many years to destroy kidney stones in patients, while smaller versions of ESWT are used extensively for joint, muscle, and tendon problems.
Studies have shown improvement in many conditions such as arthritis, tendonitis, low back pain, plantar fasciitis, and chronic overuse injuries. ESWT has also been used for vascular problems such as leg ulcers and erectile dysfunction. When used for muscle and joint purposes, ESWT feels like a strong vibrator or massager. Innovations Medical was one of the first practices in the United States to use ESWT, and we have extensive experience with the device.
What are Stem Cells?
Stem cells are specialized cells within the body that can do two unique and important things. First, they can make more copies of themselves. In theory, one stem cell can make an infinite number of new stem cells. The other special thing that stem cells can do is become other types of cells. For example, stem cells from fat can become a bone cell, muscle cell, blood vessel cell, and many others.
Because of these two special characteristics, stem cells are an essential part of our body’s healing process. Almost all new tissue growth is done by stem cells. Stem cells are our body’s healing engines.
Why Use ESWT with Stem Cells?
Studies have shown ESWT works by stimulating stem cells in most cases. When used alone, ESWT stimulates the stem cells in the local area. These stem cells help to heal and to turn off inflammation. Much of what ESWT does for healing in joints, tendons and muscles is due to these stimulated stem cells. Stem cells stimulated with ESWT also help build new blood vessels. This can help ulcers, erectile dysfunction, and other issues including joints and tendons.
We now have the opportunity to harvest stem cells from your body and give them back to aid in healing. Adding harvested stem cells to an area has been shown to help in many conditions. This includes diseases such as arthritis, COPD, and many neurologic and vascular conditions. Stem cells can be taken from your own fat and injected into the area of injury or disease to heal areas that will not heal on their own. ESWT can then be used to stimulate the stem cells that have been injected — helping them go to work healing an area.
What Conditions May Benefit from ESWT and Stem Cells?
There are numerous conditions that can benefit from the combination of ESWT and stem cells. However, the percentage of patients responding varies by condition. ESWT and stem cells can be used for:
- Arthritis in:
- Compression Neuropathy
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Ulnar nerve compression
- Thoracic outlet syndrome
- Peripheral neuropathy — including most causes of peripheral neuropathy
- Erectile dysfunction
- Peyronie’s disease
- Diabetic, and other types of foot and leg ulcers
- Muscle spasm — including from Cerebral Palsy, brain injury and stroke
- Chronic pain in many body areas
What to Expect From ESWT
Extracorporeal shock wave therapy is an effective tool for many conditions. This includes muscle, tendon, joint, neurologic, and vascular issues. It is also a very good tool for dealing with chronic pain. The combination of ESWT and stem cells represents a powerful advance. Although this combination is new, it has tremendous potential for helping many people.
If You’re Considering ESWT, Contact Innovations Medical
We’ll answer your questions and resolve any concerns you have about your procedure. We’ve been helping our patients look their best since 2005, and even our most advanced procedures are often minimally invasive.