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Influence of medical shock waves on healthy muscle tissue.

  • Kompass Health Associates
Influence of medical shock waves on healthy muscle tissue.
Vincent KC1,2, , d’Agostino C3, Schaden W4,5, Karalus P1, Grant L1
1Kompass GW Sports Medicine (Victoria, Australia), 2 Kompass Health Associates
(Auckland, New Zealand) 3Rehabilitation Department, Humanitas Research Hospital (Milan,
Italy), 4AUVA Trauma Centre, 5Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Experimental & Clinical
Traumatology (Vienna, Austria).
Competitive sport requires each athlete to be at peak performance at all times. This
is often a challenging task to manage, as overuse and fatigue syndromes often
impede performance. For over a decade shockwave therapy (SWT) have been
utilised successfully to manage sports injuries.1 Our investigation aimed to determine
the effects of SWT on muscle tissue of healthy subjects.
Four golfers and weighlifters were recruited for this project. Weightlifter baseline (BS)
and post-intervention (PI) data was collected from activation patterns of six muscles
over five repetitions of a 120kg loaded back-squat. Personal-best (PB) back-squat
records of each weightlifter was noted and compared PI. Golfers hit 20 balls with a 7-
iron and each swing speed, club-ball interface, and ball distance was measured
utilising FlightScope®. 500 acoustic impulses were administered over selected
muscles relevant to each sport over two session conducted at two week intervals
utilising an electrohydraulic generator (OrthoGold-100). PI data was collected at
Golf - increases in both swing speed and ball distance was noted in each golfer with
the mean average (MA) recorded as being: Swing-speed (BS: 140.21km/h PI:
147.12km/h), club-ball interface (BS: 1.32m/sec PI: 1.46m/sec), Ball distance (BS:
143.25mPI: 167.4m). Weightlifting sEMG activation patterns recorded the
following averages over six different muscles throughout each back-squat (BS:
1588.08üv/backsquat PI: 1322.87üv/back-squat). PB back-squat score avg. (BS:
340kgs PI: 401kgs).
Our observations utilising sport specific measurements suggests that SWT had a
positive influence on muscle output and performance. Although an overall
improvement in performance was observed in both sporting disciplines and in each
athlete, but of note was the reduced muscle expenditure required to complete a
similar task PI, as observed in weightlifting. From what that has been presently
21st Annual Congress
6th – 9th July 2016
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elucidated of the positive mechanotransductive impact of SWT on human tissue1. It
is plausible to suggest that SWT modulates a favourable biocellular and molecular
response in muscle tissue,1 offering the potential to reduce, even prevent overuse
syndromes in sports. This case report has its limitations (eg. small sample size)
however the observations are encouraging and opens new possibilities in sports
science and medicine, inviting further investigation and collaboration in this area.
Author Contact:
1. d’Agostino CM, Craig K, Tibalt E & Respizzi S. Shock wave as biological therapeutic
tool: From mechanical stimulation to recovery and healing, through
mechanotransduction. Int J Surg. 2015; 24(Pt B):147-153.
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⁃Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy (ESWT) is a form of "mechanotherapy", that, from its original applications as urological lithotripsy, gained the field of musculo-skeletal diseases as Orthotripsy (mainly tendinopaties and bone regenerative disorders) and Regenerative Medicine as well. ⁃The mechanisms of action of Shock Waves (SW), when applied in non-urological indications, are not related to the direct mechanical effect, but to the different pathways of biological reactions, that derive from that acoustic stimulations, through "mechano-transduction". So, the "mechanical model" of urological lithotripsy has been substituted by a "biological model", also supported by current knowledge in "mechanobiology", the emerging multidisciplinary field of science that investigates how physical forces and changes in cell/tissue mechanics can influence the tissue development, physiology and diseases. ⁃Although some details are still under study, it is known that SW are able to relief pain, as well to positively regulate inflammation (probably as immunomodulator), to induce neoangiogenesis and stem cells activities, thus improving tissue regeneration and healing. ⁃ESWT can be nowadays considered an effective, safe, versatile, repeatable, noninvasive therapy for the treatment of many musculo-skeletal diseases, and for some pathological conditions where regenerative effects are desirable, especially when some other noninvasive/conservative therapies have failed. ⁃Moreover, based on the current knowledge in SW mechanobiology, it seems possible to foresee new interesting and promising applications in the fields of Regenerative Medicine, tissue engineering and cell therapies.