Shockwave Therapy

The word “shock” is always intimidating, but often shock is good.  You know when you bang the jar on the edge of the counter and then it will open?  Or the cabinet that you have to bump just right to get it to open?  These are things that are misaligned and need a thump to get lined up.  Shockwave, though much more complicated, is the same idea.

Shockwaves are a form of ultrasound.  Ultrasound waves can be used for many things like bounced to produce an diagnostic image or absorbed to heat tissues for therapy.  In the case of shockwave, they are condensed to a very small point in order to produce a “shock” at the area.

How is shockwave helpful?

Where there is decreased blood supply like scar tissue, injured tendons and ligaments, and arthritis, creating space for healing is needed.  These are all areas where the shockwave can “jolt” to create openings in tight tissue.  These opening are then infused with tiny blood vessels, which bring new nutrients to the injury, increase cell growth chemicals, and chemicals that selectively inhibit nerves which helps with pain management.

Does shockwave hurt the pet?

It depends upon the type of shock wave and the age of the machine.  Ten years ago, all patients required sedation for shock wave, both from the noise and from the pain.  So much improvement has occurred in the last 10 years.  At Healing Arts deliberately chose a shock wave machine that has less shock. and therefore less pain. so that we did not have to sedate our patients for their care.  While this type requires more treatments, we remove the expense and time required for sedation, and allows us to use it on patients for whom sedation might not be safe.  While it still makes a banging noise, we have padded our machine to reduce the noise.

Conditions treated with shockwave:

  • Biceps tendinopathy
  • Supraspinatus tendinopathy
  • Spondylosis
  • Non-union fractures
  • Bone healing
  • Scar tissue
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Achilles tendon injuries

Is shockwave really loud?

It does make a hammering noise, but we have insulated and covered it to reduce the sound as much as possible.  We usually will use a Low Stress Handling approach to introduce it to the pet, (even cats and bunnies!), but if the pet finds it stressful, we’ll have you premedicate next time and try again.   As always, at Healing Arts, you pet gets to choose whatever makes them most comfortable.

About Healing Arts Animal Care

Healing Arts Animal Care in Beaverton, Oregon provides veterinary acupuncture, pet rehabilitation therapy, physical therapy and athletic conditioning and Animal Massage Therapy for the dogs and cats of the Portland, Oregon Metro Area including Hillsboro, Lake Oswego, and Tualatin. We strive to create a team among you, your pet, your veterinarian and ourselves to create a whole package of care for your pet including wheelchairs for dogs. Pets come through our door knowing that we’re going to have fun here and this isn’t “another trip to the vet.” Through manual therapies, acupuncture, laser, ultrasound, underwater treadmill and creating a tailored individual home exercises, we strive to bring your injured pet back to speed, keep your elderly pet as an active member of the family, return your obese pet back to a functional friend and keep your athletic pet at the peak of his performance.