Less elastic than normal skin tissue, scar tissue can cause tightness, limited movement, and sometimes pain. Common types of scars include keloid, hypertrophic, contractures, and adhesions. Depending on the level of seriousness, scars can be treated by dermabrasion, chemical peels, collagen injections, cortisone injections, cryosurgery, laser resurfacing, and grafts.
Shockwave therapy, which uses acoustic sound waves to increase blood circulation to the affected area and break down fibrous scar tissue, is a drug-free, non-invasive option for scar tissue removal.
A study published in Wound Repair and Regeneration examined the effect of shockwave therapy on treating keloid scars. Researchers compared a group of twenty-two patients who received shockwave therapy and a group of seventeen who received intralesional steroid injection. The shockwave group received three treatments in six weeks, while the steroid group received three intralesional triamcinolone injections in six weeks.
Researchers found treatment with shockwave therapy resulted in significant decreases in collagen fibres and increases in MMP-13, making it a drug-free alternative to steroid injections.
Hypertrophic and contractures are common for burn injures, which can cause cosmetic and functional issues. There is a wide variety of treatment options, but efficacy has been variable. One study investigated the use of shockwave therapy for burn patients. Researchers studied sixteen patients with postburn scars with digital photographs and visual analogue scales before and after treatment. Patients received treatment twice a week for six weeks.
After one session, researchers noted that scares appeared more pliable and there was less colour mismatch. And at the end of the study, researchers concluded all scars had improved and that shockwave therapy “is a feasible and cost-effective treatment in the management of postburn pathologic scars.”
Post-Surgical Scar Tissue
After surgery, adhesions can form between tissues organs and cause them to stick together. The external scar looks fine, but the more severe scaring is underneath. In the case of abdominal adhesions, the bowels can get obstructed. Surprisingly, this occurs after 50 to 90 per cent of abdominal operations. Serious symptoms can include chronic pain, infertility, bowel obstruction, and even death. And yet despite its prevalence, there is no optimal treatment method aside from surgery.
Shockwave therapy can penetrate deep into the tissue and break up that collagen build up. The body absorbs the calcium and disposes the fibrin. New blood vessels form and the tissue heals, becoming stronger and more flexible.
Shockwave therapy is also effective in treating musculoskeletal and chronic pain disorders like myofascial trigger points. We are Canada’s exclusive distributor of the industry leading Storz shockwave therapy machines. Call 1 (888) 741-SHOC(7462) or visit our website to learn more.