Rotator cuff tendinopathy, subacromial impingement, and lateral epicondylitis are among the three most common upper limb disorders. Conservative treatments for these disorders include:

  • Rest
  • Cryotherapy
  • Activity modification
  • Stretching exercises
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
  • Eccentric loading

If the patient doesn’t respond to conservative treatment, surgery may be necessary.

However, shockwave therapy has been clinically proven to be a non-invasive, drug-free treatment modality for these upper limb disorders. By delivering acoustic pressure waves to an affected area, shockwave therapy enhances metabolism and blood flow, stimulating the cells responsible for healing damaged tissue and bone.

Rotator Cuff Tendinopathy

Perhaps the most common upper limb disorder, rotator cuff tendinopathy is estimated to affect nearly 4 per cent of the general population.

A study published in BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders evaluated the effectiveness of treating symptomatic calcific shoulder tendinopathy using shockwave therapy. Sixty-seven patients were identified, and 76 shoulders were examined. Researchers noted significant improvements immediately post-treatment, at one month, three months, and after one year.

The success rate after one year was approximately 92 per cent with only a 7 per cent recurrence rate.

Subacromial Impingement Syndrome (SAIS)

SAIS is a pathological state of the rotator cuff tendons resulting from mechanical impingement and causes 50 to 70 per cent of shoulder pain cases.

A study from Circi et al. examined thirty patients with SAIS who were treated with shockwave therapy. Patients were divided into three different groups according to acromion morphology. Each group saw improvements in pain and functionality with no difference regarding acromion morphology.

Lateral Epicondylitis

Affecting up to 3 per cent of the general population, lateral epicondylitis, commonly known as tennis elbow, is a chronic inflammatory degeneration of the wrist extensor tendons at their insertion into the lateral epicondyle of the humerus.

A meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials comparing shockwave therapy to corticosteroid injection on lateral epicondylitis was recently published in The Physician and Sportsmedicine. Researchers examined four studies and noted significant differences in visual analogue scores and grip strength between groups who’d received shockwave therapy versus corticosteroid injection.

They concluded shockwave therapy was a “superior alternative” for the treatment of lateral epicondylitis.

Shockwave Technology for Upper Limb Disorders

If you’re looking to leverage shockwave therapy for your patients at an affordable price point, the MASTERPULS® Ultra MP50 is a small but powerful machine capable of treating major joint and soft tissue injuries. The only product of its kind on the market, the MP50 is mobile, easy to use, and offers customizable operation.

To learn more about our shockwave devices, call 1 (888) 741-SHOC(7462) or visit our website.