South Shore Equine Clinic & Diagnostic Center
Equine Veterinary Services South Shore Boston Massachusetts

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I have heard a lot about "shock wave therapy" lately. What is this and what does it do?

Answer:

Extracorporeal High-Energy Shockwave Therapy (ESWT) is a new treatment methodology that is currently gaining popularity in the world of performance horse medicine. ESWT was first developed for humans as a treatment for the disintegration of kidney stones. Subsequently, it was recognized that ESWT might have applications in orthopedics as well. High-intensity waves apply mechanical pressure and tension on tissues. These forces stimulate osteogenesis (new bone formation) and removal of excessive osseous tissue (calcification). The effects of shock waves occur in regions where tissue density changes, such as bone/ tendon or bone/ ligament interfaces. Therefore, it has shown promise in treating such conditions as stress fractures, navicular disease, distal tarsitis, suspensory desmitis, ligament and tendon fibrosis and/or ossification, etc. Preliminary research shows better quality healing and improved recovery rates.

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