Shockwave Therapy Technology

StemWave acoustic shockwave therapy helps to pinpoint and treat areas of inflammation and injury by stimulating circulation and recruiting stem cells which accelerates the process of healing and repair.

Struggling with pain in the shoulder, hip, low back or knee that just isn't going away no matter what you try? Shockwave therapy is a cutting-edge, non-invasive technology that utilizes acoustic waves to activate the body's natural healing mechanisms. Using patient-driven feedback we are able to identify and treat areas of inflammation, injury and tissue damage in the knee, shoulder, elbow, foot, hip and lower back. Using this information Dr. Hamel treats the patient's condition without using any type of medicine or surgeries.

Why Shockwave Therapy?

How long has it been since you've been able to get out of bed in the morning without stepping down in excruciating pain? You might have built up inflammation in your plantar fascia. Are you having a hard time playing with your kids, grand kids or going up and down stairs? Severe inflammation in your knee joint or osteoarthritis might be a contributing factor. Unable to swing the golf club or go to the gym anymore because of chronic shoulder pain; chronic inflammation and tendinitis in your shoulder is probably keeping your off the golf course and away from the gym. Are you having constant pain in your knee, shoulder, neck, back or hips?  The question to ask yourself is WHY the pain is not going away?

What Shockwave Therapy is all About and Why Patient's Rave about their Treatment Results

  1. 15 minute treatments are very convenient and productive, each treatment builds on the last one.
  2. The treatments are 100% non-invasive and drug free; no surgery, no medicine, so no side effects.
  3. The acoustic soundwaves stimulate natural healing in the body.
  4. No recovery time, often times patients can see a difference after their first treatment experiencing increased range of motion and less pain.


Why We Don't Heal and Recover From Injuries or Conditions?

The main reason why people don't heal from conditions such as frozen shoulder, knee osteoarthritis, tennis elbow, golfer's elbow, carpal tunnel syndrome, Achilles tendinitis or plantar fasciitis is because of chronic inflammation and or lack or circulation. As long as there is inflammation present in the joints and muscles of the knee, hip, shoulder, foot or low back, the body cannot effectively heal and repair. Shockwave therapy stimulates circulation, recruits existing stem cells and helps alleviate inflammation in the area of concern boosting the body's ability to naturally heal and repair. Stemwave shockwave therapy in no way produces new stem cells and is not anything like stem cell therapy injections. One of the reasons patients love shockwave therapy is that it is non-invasive, we use a wand and ultrasound gel over the injured joint, tendons and muscles and the healing begins.

What Is Shockwave Therapy? The Science Behind It.

Stemwave is an advanced shockwave therapy device using electrohydraulic spark gap technology. Its patented design features a parabolic reflector applicator that produces highly effective, low-intensity unfocused shock waves. The Stemwave technology identifies the areas of inflammation, based on patient feedback and treats those areas with low intensity, pulsed, shockwaves. This is a very patient centered therapeutic device, the patient will be able to feel the discomfort when the wand is over the inflamed area; and then after the treatment be able to feel a difference in pain and range of motion of the area worked on, knee, shoulder, plantar fascia or hip. It is a shockwave; the patient is supposed to feel some discomfort; this way Dr. Hamel knows the areas to map out and treat in a particular area. The applicator spreads energy to a large area of both superficial and deep tissue creating a biological response to initiate the body's natural healing process. The StemWave shockwave therapy does not electrocute the patient; it is not dangerous to the patient in any way. The shockwave treatment is safe to use unless there are contraindications that patient is presenting with. The StemWave™ machine is the most advanced, highly effective, non-invasive treatment cleared by the FDA to treat degenerative conditions and chronic pain. We all know what chronic pain feels like; this means that pain has been hanging around for over 4-6 weeks; some patients have been dealing with knee pain, shoulder pain, or back pain for 10+ years. Some examples of degenerative conditions are disc herniation, osteoarthritis, bursitis, tendinitis, cartilage issues, meniscus damage, carpal tunnel syndrome, heel spurs, frozen shoulder and more.

**During your first visit Dr. Hamel will evaluate your area of concern with the device to help identify areas of inflammation that are contributing to your condition or injury. The patient will feel some discomfort during this evaluation and analysis because the shockwaves are going right over the top of the injured area; this is NORMAL and Dr. Hamel is looking for this as part of his evaluation. Based on the results of this first treatment, Dr. Hamel will let you know if you are a good candidate for shockwave therapy; often times the patient will see a change in pain and range of motion after the first visit, anywhere from 5-20% If the patient does not see positive change after the first evaluation and treatment, or if Dr. Hamel believes he cannot help a certain condition he will do his best to refer the patient to another doctor.

**Shockwaves are created by means of a high-energy electrical discharge in water. The voltage is discharged between the opposing tips of an electrode. The arcing or spark gap causes an equalization of voltage between the two tips of the electrode whereby a hot plasma bubble is created. Shockwave low-intensity, unfocused energy is delivered via a patented parabolic reflector applicator in the form of parallel waves.

FAQ: What is shockwave therapy, and how does it work for knee pain, shoulder pain, and plantar fasciitis?

Answer: Shockwave therapy is a non-invasive treatment that uses high-energy acoustic waves to stimulate the body's natural healing process. For knee pain, shoulder pain, and plantar fasciitis, shockwave therapy helps reduce pain, inflammation, stimulates existing stem cells and promote tissue repair by increasing blood flow and stimulating the body's regenerative mechanisms.

FAQ: Is shockwave therapy safe for treating knee pain, shoulder pain, and plantar fasciitis?

Answer: Yes, shockwave therapy is considered safe when performed by a qualified healthcare professional. It is a non-surgical and non-invasive treatment option with minimal side effects, making it a safe and effective choice for patients seeking relief conditions such as frozen shoulder, knee osteoarthritis and plantar fasciitis. The patient hears a pulse and feels slight irritation when the shockwaves are being administered but there is no chance of burning or damaging the area. The patient should feel some discomfort especially around the areas of severe inflammation; it means the shockwave machine is doing it’s job.

FAQ: How long does a shockwave therapy session last, and how many sessions are typically needed to feel relief in chronic shoulder tendinitis, knee meniscus tears or heel pain caused by irritation of the plantar fascia. 

Answer: A shockwave therapy session typically lasts between 10-15 minutes, depending on the area being treated. The number of sessions needed varies depending on the severity of the condition and individual response to treatment. Dr. Hamel recommends for the pain relief phase of shockwave therapy the patient should dedicate 6-8 weeks.  Often times the patient can feel improvement, (5-20%), after the first session.  Remember that each session builds on the last one, the more the inflammation goes away the more healing and repair can take place. 

FAQ: What can I expect during a shockwave therapy treatment?

Answer: During a shockwave therapy session, a handheld device is used to deliver acoustic waves through ultrasound gel to the affected area. You may feel mild discomfort or a tingling sensation during the treatment, this just means circulation is coming into the knee, shoulder or foot; it is what we want.  After the session, you can typically resume your normal activities with little to no downtime, we just ask that you d not over do it with activity because most likely you will feel improvement and less pain.  For serious tendinitis or tears Dr. Hamel recommends little to no activity for the first 6-8 weeks to make sure healing and repair is able to happen efficiently. 

FAQ: Are there any side effects or risks associated with shockwave therapy?

Answer: Side effects of shockwave therapy are minimal and may include temporary redness, swelling, or mild discomfort in the joint line or surrounding musculature of the area treated. We have never seen any serious side effects with patients receiving shockwave therapy.  Patient are still able to take medicine or supplements during their shockwave therapy protocol to offer them extra relief if necessary. 

FAQ: Can shockwave therapy be used as a standalone treatment chronic pain conditions or is it typically combined with other therapies?

Answer: Shockwave therapy can be used as a standalone treatment or combined with other therapies, depending on the patient's condition and treatment goals.  Dr. Hamel often times will perform chiropractic adjustments, stretches and give corrective exercises to help stabilize and support the area he is treating with shockwave therapy. Contraindications to shockwave therapy where Dr. Hamel WILL NOT do a treatment are: if the patient is pregnant, if the patient has a tumor, skin infections, cardiac pacemaker, bleeding disorder, taking high doses of NSAIDS or anti-coagulant treatment and if they patient has had a cortisone shot within the last 30 days. Often times patients will get a cortisone shot in the shoulder, knee, hip, elbow or heel which helps reduce inflammation; this is a good thing says Dr. Hamel; we just have to wait 30 days until we start the shockwave therapy protocol. 

FAQ: How soon can I expect to feel pain relief and other positive changes after undergoing shockwave therapy?

Answer: Many patients experience significant pain relief and even increased range of motion within a few days to weeks after starting shockwave therapy. There are 3 phases of shockwave therapy; and each patient has the option to choose where they want to go based on goals. 

Phase 1- Get out of pain and reduce inflammation so that the area can start to heal and repair.  With constant inflammation conditions such as shoulder impingement, knee osteoarthritis or plantar fasciitis WILL NOT get better or heal. Time commitment 6-8 weeks. I.e. For patients who just want to feel better, their daily activities are very simple and physically not too challenging.  

Phase 2- Regenerative therapy, this is where the repairing of damaged tissues can occur. Now that the inflammation is reduced the patient can handle a higher intensity shockwave treatment and do more challenging corrective exercises for the area, (shoulder, knee, foot). Time commitment 90-120 days. I.e. For patients who are active, they want to get back to regular golf, tennis, pickleball, going to the gym, traveling, hiking, gardening etc. their daily activities are more physical and challenging.  (*THE MOST COMMON CHOICE FOR OUR PATIENTS)

Phase 3- Tissue remodeling, full repair and functionality, no limitation, Time commitment 12-18 months. For patients who are very active and competitive, exercising daily, cross-fit athletes, participate in marathons, tournaments and other competitive sports. 

FAQ: Is shockwave therapy covered by insurance, if not is there a discount for pre-paying for packages?

Answer: Shockwave therapy is not covered by insurance, often times additional treatment such as chiropractic adjustments, stretching and corrective exercises are.  We are in network with Blue Cross Blue Shield and Aetna.  Dr. Hamel accepts all HSA and FSA health spending cards.  Shockwave therapy treatments are available in packages of 10, there is significant savings when pre-paying for 10 visits as opposed to paying per visit. 

Hamel Chiropractic and Wellness