Chronic pain is defined as any pain lasting 12 weeks or more, even in the absence of painful stimuli. It can have many causes and be debilitating, no matter the cause. You need relief, but what can you try if conservative treatments don’t work?
At Viva Health, board-certified OB/GYN Dr. Aleksander J. Bodnar offers his patients a novel treatment that can help relieve a number of musculoskeletal conditions, as well as sexual dysfunction — acoustic wave therapy, aka extracorporeal shock wave therapy.
What causes chronic pain?
Many problems can lead you down the path to chronic pain, too many to mention here, but some common causes can be grouped together.
- Sprains (ligaments)
- Strains (tendons or muscles)
- Traumatic injuries to soft tissues or spinal vertebrae
- Degenerative disc disease: discs wear out with age
- Spondylosis: general wear-and-tear degeneration of the spine
- Arthritis or another inflammatory disease in spinal joints
- Spondylitis: inflammation of the vertebrae
Nerve and spinal cord problems
- Spinal nerve compression, inflammation, and/or injury (sciatica)
- Spinal stenosis: spinal column narrowing compresses spinal nerves
- Herniated or ruptured discs
- Osteoporosis: loss of bone density leads to painful spinal compression fractures
It’s important to get an accurate diagnosis, as different causes require different interventions.
What’s acoustic wave therapy (AWT)?
Acoustic wave therapy is a treatment for soft tissue problems. The procedure is noninvasive, FDA-approved, and office-based, and it targets a broad range of musculoskeletal conditions by increasing blood flow and encouraging tissue repair.
AWT uses high-frequency sound waves to stimulate the body’s repair functions. It’s particularly useful for degenerative conditions and chronic inflammation. It works through six mechanisms:
- Forms new blood vessels: nutrients needed to repair damaged tissue
- Reverses chronic inflammation: increases activity of immune system’s mast cells
- Stimulates collagen production: structural protein forms myoskeletal, ligament structures
- Breaks up calcified fibroblasts that accompany tendon tears or trauma
- Disperses pain mediator “substance P” associated with chronic pain
- Releases trigger points: unblocks calcium pump, desensitizing painful areas
Acoustic wave therapy can effectively treat a wide range of conditions, including:
- Joint pain
- Achilles tendinitis
- Plantar fasciitis
- Back, shoulder, and neck pain
- Elbow, wrist, and hand pain
- Sports injuries
- Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) dysfunction
- Spinal disc-related pain
- Sexual dysfunction
Acoustic wave therapy can also be used cosmetically for body shaping and treating cellulite.
If you’re dealing with musculoskeletal issues, and the therapies you’ve tried haven’t relieved your pain and other symptoms, acoustic wave therapy may be the answer.
To learn more, or to schedule a consultation with Dr. Bodnar, call Viva Health at either of our locations, in Linden and Clifton, New Jersey, or book your appointment online.