Can Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy Help Treat Runner's Knee?

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A runner's knee can be a painful and debilitating condition that keeps you from enjoying your favorite physical activities and even makes everyday routines uncomfortable or impossible. At Interventional Orthopedics of Atlanta, Dr. Christopher Williams is committed to helping patients regain their comfort and mobility as conveniently as possible with a comprehensive array of nonsurgical pain management options. For patients with runner's knee, extracorporeal shock wave therapy (ESWT) can be a compelling option to nonsurgically treat damaged knee tissue and restore function and comfort once again. Keep reading to learn more about how ESWT in Atlanta can help alleviate runner's knee and expedite your recovery without the downsides of invasive surgery.

What is runner’s knee?

Runner's knee, formally known as patellofemoral pain syndrome, can refer to several conditions that cause pain around the kneecap. Affecting both athletes and nonathletes, causes of runner's knee can include:

  • Overuse of the knee joint
  • Improper alignment of the knee joint
  • Muscle imbalance
  • Trauma
  • Knee injury

How do I know if I have runner's knee?

Some of the most common signs and symptoms of runner's knee include:

  • Pain with physical activity
  • A grinding feeling in the knee with movement
  • Tenderness around the kneecap

If you are experiencing runner's knee symptoms, don't hesitate to schedule a consultation with Dr. Williams. If appropriate, an exam and imaging studies may also be recommended to help determine whether your symptoms are indeed being caused by runner's knee and what treatments may be effective for you.

How is runner’s knee treated?

When conventional and conservative treatments — like the RICE (rest, ice, compression, elevation) method and over-the-counter pain relievers do not provide adequate relief from runner's knee pain, it may be time to consider a more targeted intervention. Based on your symptoms, the results of your diagnostic workup for the runner's knee, and other information, Dr. Williams may recommend ESWT. This noninvasive treatment uses sound wave energy to stimulate healing in injured tissues. ESWT is particularly effective for treating musculoskeletal pain and issues, including runner's knee, because it addresses the root cause of the discomfort.

The sound waves stimulate the body's natural healing processes by enhancing blood circulation and promoting the formation of new blood vessels. This increase in blood flow delivers essential nutrients and oxygen to the damaged tissues, accelerating the healing process. Additionally, ESWT helps to reduce inflammation and break down scar tissue, which can impede recovery and prolong pain. For patients with runner's knee, these effects can lead to significant pain reduction and improved function.

What other musculoskeletal problems can be treated with ESWT?

While ESWT is beneficial for runner's knee, it's also effective for a variety of other musculoskeletal injuries and conditions. Some of the most common musculoskeletal issues that can be improved with ESWT include:

  • Tennis and golfer's elbow
  • Achilles tendonitis
  • Shoulder tendonitis
  • Shin splints
  • Heel spurs
  • Plantar fasciitis
  • Lower back pain
  • Muscle, joint, and tendon injuries

Athletes, post-surgical patients, older adults with joint conditions like arthritis, and anyone with chronic musculoskeletal pain that hasn't responded to at-home treatments can potentially benefit from ESWT.

What are the benefits of ESWT for knee pain?

One of the primary advantages of ESWT for runner's knee is its noninvasive and nonsurgical nature. Unlike surgical options, ESWT does not require any incisions or anesthesia, reducing the risk of complications and removing the need for a prolonged recovery period. Many patients report a noticeable reduction in pain and improvement in function shortly after the first session, with continued progress over the next few weeks. ESWT also allows patients to maintain their regular activities with minimal downtime — meaning you can get back to enjoying your favorite activities sooner without the pain of runner's knee.

Take steps toward runner’s knee pain relief with ESWT in Atlanta, GA

If you're struggling with runner's knee or other chronic musculoskeletal pain, extracorporeal shock wave therapy at Interventional Orthopedics of Atlanta may be the solution you've been seeking. Contact us today to schedule your consultation with Atlanta, GA, pain management specialist Dr. Christopher Williams, and take the first step toward the pain relief you deserve.

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.