Shockwave and laser therapy are treatments that come under the term ‘orthopedic regenerative medicine.’
Regenerative medicine uses natural methods to stimulate the body to regenerate its own tissues. Some methods use the patient’s own cells obtained from their own blood using needles and injections. This medical procedure is called platelet-rich plasma (PRP) or stem cell therapy. However, I use safer, no needle, less expensive, easy to administer shockwave and laser modalities rather than injections to stimulate growth factors to help repair the tissues. These modalities have been especially helpful in hip and knee osteoarthritis.
Researchers at the Department of Special Surgical Science, University of Florence found numerous growth factors within blood platelets that have a specific activity on cartilage regeneration. Stimulating growth factors may be what allows the shockwave treatment to be able to significantly reduce pain and improve joint function.1
A typical treatment shockwave and laser is performed once a week for approximately 3-6 weeks.
The treatment goal of using shockwave and laser:
Allow patients to be more active
Decreasing pain often helps improve function
I like to see positive changes within the first 3 to 6 weeks with continued improvement over the next 12 weeks
It makes sense to do a trial of the non-invasive shockwave and laser protocol to improve osteoarthritis of the hip joint prior to injections.
- Civinini R, Nistri L, Martini C, Redl B, Ristori G, Innocenti M. Growth factors in the treatment of early osteoarthritis. Clin Cases Miner Bone Metab. 2013 Jan; 10(1):26-9. doi: 10.11138/ccmbm/2013.10.1.026.
- Sánchez M, Guadilla J, Fiz N, Andia I. Ultrasound-guided platelet-rich plasma injections for the treatment of osteoarthritis of the hip. Rheumatology (Oxford). 2012 Jan;51(1):144-50. Epub 2011 Nov 10
- Dallari D, Stagni C, Rani N, Sabbioni G, Pelotti P, Torricelli P, Tschon M, Giavaresi G. Ultrasound-Guided Injection of Platelet-Rich Plasma and Hyaluronic Acid, Separately and in Combination, for Hip Osteoarthritis: A Randomized Controlled Study. Am J Sports Med. 2016 Jan 21. pii: 0363546515620383.