Shockwave Therapy

Irwin Goldstein, MD

Shockwave therapy is a regenerative therapy FDA cleared for improved blood supply, pain relief and connective tissue activation. Currently we are using the device to decrease irritation in the spine and cauda equina. Please note that there is a difference between an accoustic wave and a shock wave when investigating potential treatments.

In 2010, low-intensity shockwave therapy (Li-SWT) was first used in Europe as a novel, minimally-invasive disease modification treatment strategy for erectile dysfunction.  Li-SWT has been used therapeutically in other fields of medicine, including in the treatment of cardiac or limb ischemia, diabetic foot ulcers,and wound healing.  Li-SWT has been shown in multiple publications to reduce inflammatory and cellular stress responses.   In general, shockwaves are delivered by a hand-held probe. In general, treatment is offered in an outpatient setting with no analgesia needed.

LiSWT can be used to treat radiculopathy of the sacral spinal nerve roots, either after lumbar endoscopic spine surgery if pain remains, or if there is pain or dysesthesia that could not be treated by surgery. Several thousand shockwaves are delivered to the spine, with each treatment session lasting approximately 15-20 minutes. Patients can have this treatment several days in a row, with the anticipated result being lessening of genito-pelvic dysesthesia.

Another use of LiSWT is having shockwaves applied to the vestibule for several days immediately prior to vestibulectomy. We have found performing this technique greatly decreases opiod use after complete vestibulectomy with vaginal advancement flap.

At San Diego Sexual Medicine we utilize the Urogold 100™ electrohydraulic shockwave device which is FDA cleared for improved blood flow,pain amelioration and connective tissue activation.