Question:My doctor says I need shock wave therapy for my tennis elbow. We've tried everything else with no success. I've had this problem over a year now. What can I expect from this new treatment?
You're probably talking about extracorporeal shock wave therapy (ESWT). This is a form of energy used to help heal areas of damaged soft tissue. The body responds to this treatment by bringing more blood to the area. You may get some bruising or soreness at the site of treatment. This is usually mild.
Overall results may depend on how long the problem has been there. In your case, symptoms have lasted over a year. This makes healing more difficult. Since there's no surgery involved, no permanent damage occurs.
Healing is expected from the first day. Each person heals at a different speed. Some people feel better right away. For others it can take up to six weeks or more.Jan D. Rompe, MD, et al. Repetitive Low-Energy Shock Wave Treatment for Chronic Lateral Epicondylitis in Tennis Players. In The American Journal of Sports Medicine. May/June 2004. Vol. 32. No. 2. Pp. 734-743.
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