Nearly 4 million Canadians aged 20 years or older have diagnosed osteoarthritis. And with a growing and aging population, this number is expected to increase. Osteoarthritis can seriously impact people’s lives, with a quarter of people diagnosed saying it impacts them “quite a bit” or “extremely.” People with osteoarthritis are also more likely to have poor general health and mental health.

Of the number of Canadians with osteoarthritis, nearly a third reported knee pain and another third reported pain in both the hip and knee. While there is no cure for it, shockwave therapy offers a remedy for arthritis in the knee to reduce pain and improve function.

Shockwave therapy can accelerate the body’s healing process through acoustic pressure waves that boost metabolism and blood circulation. A study published in the Journal of Physical Therapy Science measured the effectiveness of using shockwave therapy to treat patients with degenerative knee arthritis.

Researchers divided twenty patients into groups of two. A control group received only general conservative physical therapy, and the other was treated with additional shockwave therapy on top of the physical therapy. The study lasted four weeks and both groups were treated three times a week. To measure pain researchers used the visual analogue scale (VAS), and to measure function they used the Korean Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index (K-WOMAC).

While both groups improved in VAS and K-WOMAC following treatment, the shockwave therapy group showed significantly greater improvements in both scores. Researchers concluded that shockwave therapy “may be a useful nonsurgical intervention for reducing the pain of patients with degenerative knee arthritis and improving these patients’ function.”

In terms of choosing the optimal treatment parameters, a recent study published in the Journal of Rehabilitation Medicine compared five different levels of amount of treatment in 89 patients with knee osteoarthritis. Four groups received shockwave therapy of varying intensities and number of shocks, while a fifth placebo control group was treated negligible intensity.

Researchers concluded that medium intensity of therapy was most effective. Moreover, they also concluded a higher intensity of shockwaves as opposed to a higher number of shocks might result in better alleviation of symptoms.

In addition to osteoarthritis, shockwave therapy can treat musculoskeletal disorders of the knee, such as patellar tendonitis and nonunions, as well as muscle and connective tissue injuries and tendinopathy.

Shockwave Canada is the exclusive distributor of industry leading Storz shockwave therapy machines. If you would like to learn more about integrating the long-term benefits of shockwave therapy into your practice, contact us today by dialing 1 (888) 741-SHOC(7462) or by visiting our website.