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Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy 


Extracorporeal shockwave therapy uses the application of pulsed mechanical waves to the tissues via a hand-held head, to aid in healing from a variety of conditions.  It is a non-invasive treatment for many types of pain and injury in our patients. Within the head of the hand piece a strong acoustic wave is created (in our case using peizoelectric crystals) and that waves passes into the injured or painful tissues.  As the waves pass from tissues of different densities, like joint fluid to cartilage or cartilage to bone, energy is dissipated into the surrounding region and induces cellular and tissue responses.  These regional changes include growth factor release (substances that promote healing and tissue recovery), muscle relaxation, changes in blood flow and tissue metabolism, and other biochemical and biomechanical responses.  We recommend piezoelectric shockwave for patients with arthritis, ligament and tendon injuries, back pain, muscle tension and spasm, joint injury and for wound therapy.  This treatment is well tolerated and has offered extensive relief to patients with challenging pain conditions. 

Additional Resources:

Musculoskeletal Therapies For Animals- this is the machine we use specifically at Red Sage and tends to be very quiet and comfortable for use, this not requiring sedation. There is also a video of a treatment you can watch. 

Shockwave Therapy for Dogs with Arthritis- This is an article from the Whole Dog Journal about an owners experience with shockwave therapy and offers a nice summary. 

Effects of radial shockwave therapy on the limb function of dogs with hip osteoarthritis- this is an abstract of a scientific article on treating dogs with hip arthritis. 

Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy for Shoulder Lameness in Dogs - This is a scientific articles on using shockwave for multiple types of shoulder issues in dogs. 

What is a treatment like? Does it hurt?

With piezoelectric shockwave, patients are very comfortable throughout their treatment, unlike with previous versions of shockwave where sedation or anesthesia might be required.  Our patients typically enjoy a small frozen snack while the area is being treated and the treatments last about 10-20 minutes, depending on the number of sites being treated.  After treatment we rarely see some mild soreness for 1-2 days, but more frequently there is a quick response with pain relief.  Because shockwave is healing and remodeling, there are usually delayed benefits that can take months to reach their full effect, as the treated tissues regenerate and recover.  Typically, though plans are adjusted to meet the specific needs of a patient, we perform a series of 3-8 treatments spaced about 1-3 weeks apart. 

Dr. Fry and Teri using Shockwave to treat Ariel at the WOLF Sanctuary to help manage her severe hip arthritis and pain. 


New!!  Linear Head

Piezoelectric Shockwave with Linear Head- Brand new to Red Sage is our new linear head for shockwave therapy.  This head is a brand new development in technology, allowing us to treat a larger region more throughly and have a positive impact on injured tissue in a shorter number of treatments.  This linear head is also particularly good at treatment soft tissue/muscle pain, including the muscles along the spine as well as those around the hip and shoulder.  

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