Ever since its first use in medicine in the early 80s, shockwave therapy has demonstrated tremendous results in different fields of medicine such as orthopedics, physiotherapy, veterinary medicine, and sports medicine.
It has become one of the most favored treatment options for both patients and medical professionals due to its superiority over other options in the treatment of aches and pains. Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy (ESWT) is very effective in treating Greater Trochanteric Pain Syndrome and recent research has earned it more recognition.
What is Greater Trochanteric Pain Syndrome (GTPS)?
Greater Trochanteric Pain Syndrome (GTPS) is a prevalent condition that affects people’s outer thigh and buttock muscles. It is typically caused by injury to the soft tissues in the hip as a result of repetitive or excessive pressure to the hip or area or a fall on the side of the hip. This condition is more prevalent among women than men, as a recent study revealed that 15% of women and 6.6% of men experience GTPS.
How Does Shockwave Therapy Work for Greater Trochanteric Pain Syndrome Treatment?
Despite several medical research studies done on Greater Trochanteric Pain Syndrome, the optimal treatment remains unclear. This means the available treatment options for it are targeted towards managing the load and reducing compressive forces around the greater trochanter as well as strengthening the gluteal muscles.
To achieve this, people use different options such as taking over-the-counter medications, corticosteroid injections, home exercises, and shockwave therapy. Out of all these options, however, shockwave therapy has proven to be one of the most effective methods.
Shockwave therapy is performed by following some established protocols after carrying out a thorough case history to have a full understanding of the clinical history of the affected area. This is done to ensure that the condition is actually Greater Trochanteric Pain Syndrome and is treatable using shockwave therapy.
What Happens During the Shockwave Therapy Procedure for Greater Trochanteric Pain Syndrome?
During the procedure, you will be in a lateral position as the doctor scans through to locate the affected area before applying ultrasound gel. The applied gel will help reduce the loss of shockwave energy between the tip of the device and your skin, thereby aiding the transmission of the pulses into the area.
Your clinician will ensure there is minimal discomfort during the treatment. However, as the session proceeds and the pulses increase, you will start feeling a tingling sensation in the treated area. The whole procedure will last for only about 20 minutes, after which you will be able to get up and resume your regular daily routine.
Although you may feel some pain for several days after the treatment, it should be mild and will dissipate shortly. Shockwave therapy is a relatively painless, non-surgical treatment option that does not require anesthesia or taking time off work.
Additionally, being a non-invasive method, the possibility of side effects is almost non-existent. As a matter of fact, there has not been a recorded case of any adverse effects in most of the conditions treated by shockwave therapy.
How Effective is Shockwave Therapy for Greater Trochanteric Pain Syndrome?
Most patients who have used ESWT for GTPS treatment recorded much-improved conditions after therapy. After the first treatment, you will start experiencing improved symptoms in the affected area and the general thigh region.
By the time you complete the treatment, all things being equal, you should be able to recover fully. A study result of the efficacy of shockwave therapy for GTPS published by Pain Science, showed that ESWT has provided a longer-lasting solution to this medical condition when compared to corticosteroid injections.
The study involved 300 participants where the efficacy of each treatment option was investigated both on a short-term and long-term basis. While those who received the injection had more improved symptoms in the short term, another round of investigations 15 months after showed that they were back to their original pain level.
For shockwave therapy patients, however, it was reported their conditions had greatly improved with fewer reported side effects.
How Many Sessions of Shockwave Therapy Will I Undergo?
The number of sessions will depend on the presentation of your condition. Typically, most patients only need to complete between 3 to 4 sessions. All these should be completed within a few months. Shockwave therapy for GTPS has so far recorded nothing less than 80% success – higher than the 75% success found in surgery options, which also has higher odds of side effects.
How Can I Know If Shockwave Therapy is the Right Option for My GTPS Condition?
The truth is, you can’t be sure that your condition is, in fact, Greater Trochanteric Pain Syndrome without a proper diagnosis by a medical expert. And even if you are sure it is, you will still have to be certain that it is treatable with shockwave therapy.
So, if you have started having the following GTPS symptoms, the first thing to do is to visit your physiotherapist who may recommend shockwave therapy for you if deemed fit after a thorough examination. The symptoms include:
- Episodic pain that has worsened over time with continued aggravation
- Pain when lying down with the affected area especially at night
- Pain when you sit with your legs crossed
- Altered walking pattern
- Pain whenever you engage in weight-bearing activity, such as standing, walking, or running
- Feelings of weakness in your muscle
How Shockwave Therapy MD Can Help
Shockwave Therapy MD is a group of dedicated and highly trained medical experts specialized in using shockwave therapy to treat various body aches and pains. Our services include treatments of musculoskeletal conditions, sexual disorders, and many other clinical conditions.
If you have been diagnosed with or are having symptoms of greater trochanteric pain syndrome, you can contact us today for a lasting solution. Booking an appointment with us is as simple as filling out this free consultation form.