By Tammy Chipko
So many of us have had experience using Shockwave Therapy for horses, but are perhaps unaware of why it can be so valuable in stimulating the body’s own natural healing process.
TC: What is Shockwave Therapy?
JJ: A shockwave is a pressure wave which, when diffused through or focused into soft tissue, will stimulate an increase in blood flow to the area of injury. It encourages the body’s own stem cells and numerous other healing factors to migrate to that area, thus helping the body heal itself. Shockwave Therapy can be used to treat tendon and ligament injuries, arthritis, neck and back pain, and can also help wounds to heal.
TC: Who can benefit from Shockwave Therapy?
JJ: There are many reasons to use Shockwave Therapy. It can benefit a horse that suffers from arthritis, degenerative joint disease, navicular syndrome, sore neck or back, strained or torn suspensory ligament or flexor tendon, ringbone, collateral ligament injury, sore heels, navicular pain, joint inflammation, or a large wound that is not healing properly. Shockwave Therapy has also been found to be a very effective way to stimulate healing in the case of burns. Horses that show a lot can have significant improvements in their performance by treating areas that are uncomfortable.
TC: Are there different Shockwave Machines?
JJ: Yes, one of the machines is called Focus Shockwave Machine and another is called a Radial Shockwave Machine. The Focus Shockwave Machine is a true shockwave machine and has four different probes which generate waves of energy to concentrate on specific areas. A state of the art machine that is being used in major hospitals and veterinarian clinics around the world, this machine is much more expensive than the alternative and the charge it produces is dose-dependent. The Extracorporeal Radial Shock Wave Therapy (ESWT) or (RSWT) is a machine that is also used widely but I do not think it is as effective in treating areas below the skin as the Focus Machine.
TC: Why did you choose Shockwave Therapy instead of other therapies?
JJ: I researched the vast array of therapeutic options available to the horse before I decided on Shockwave Therapy. This technique has been used in Europe to treat musculoskeletal injuries in both human and veterinary medicine for many years and was brought to the US to treat horses in the late 90’s. Shockwave Therapy has very specific documented effects for use in all of these areas. It has proven to increase circulation and to build both new blood cells and stem cells, all very important factors in healing.
TC: What sets you apart from other veterinarians using Shockwave Therapy?
JJ: I specialize exclusively in Shockwave Therapy and I perform the therapy myself. If the probe is focused even slightly off the target area, the therapy is wasted. Along with my extensive research, I have attended many forums and lectures on this therapy such as the 10th Annual Congress of the International Society for Musculoskeletal Shockwave Therapy in Toronto, Canada. I have active relationships with veterinarians all over the world and work with them to determine the optimum treatment regime for each individual horse.
TC: Do you work on other animals besides horses?
JJ: I am expanding my practice to include small animals and exotic animals as well. Shockwave Therapy can be used to treat hip dysplasia and numerous other arthritic
conditions as well as to help stimulate fracture and wound healing.
TC: Where do you practice?
JJ: I am based in Calabasas, CA and travel to client sites, horse shows, events, etc. I work with veterinarians throughout CA. and will be available throughout the HITS Thermal Circuit.
To learn more about Shockwave Therapy, contact Dr. Johnson