Shockwave Therapy and Erectile Dysfunction

By Shannon Strauch, PTA, STMT-1 on 1/18/2024

erectile dysfunction

Shockwave therapy, also known as extracorporeal shock wave therapy (ESWT), is a medical treatment that uses acoustic waves to stimulate healing in various musculoskeletal conditions. It is a non-invasive procedure that has been used to treat conditions such as:

  1. Tendinopathies:

    Shockwave therapy is commonly used for conditions like plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendinopathy, and rotator cuff tendinopathy.

  2. Calcific Shoulder Tendinitis:

    It may be employed to break down calcium deposits in the shoulder.

  3. Muscle Injuries:

    Shockwave therapy can aid in the healing of certain muscle injuries.

  4. Bone Healing:

    It has been explored for promoting the healing of fractures and non-union fractures.

  5. Joint Disorders:

    In some cases, it may be used for certain joint disorders.

During the procedure, a device generates shockwaves that are directed towards the affected area, stimulating blood flow and promote the body's natural healing processes.

With the benefits shown in musculoskeletal issues, shockwave therapy has been explored as a potential treatment for erectile dysfunction (ED). The idea behind using shockwave therapy for ED is to stimulate blood vessel growth and improve blood flow to the penis, addressing one of the underlying causes of erectile dysfunction.

The treatment involves using low-intensity shockwaves directed at the penile tissue. This is thought to promote the release of growth factors, increase blood flow, and encourage the formation of new blood vessels in the penile region. Improved blood flow is crucial for achieving and maintaining an erection.

Several small-scale studies and clinical trials have been conducted to investigate the effectiveness of shockwave therapy for erectile dysfunction, and some have reported positive outcomes. "Results from basic science experiments have provided evidence that LI-ESWT induces cellular microtrauma, which in turn stimulates the release of angiogenic factors and the subsequent neovascularization of the treated [cavernosal] tissue" (Gruenwald, 2013).

If you or someone you know is suffering with ED and would like to try a non-pharmaceutical treatment, contact us at Pelvic Health! We can evaluate each individual's dysfunctions and determine if you are a suitable patient for SWT

Gruenwald I, Appel B, Kitrey ND, Vardi Y. Shockwave treatment of erectile dysfunction. Ther Adv Urol. 2013 Apr;5(2):95-9. doi: 10.1177/1756287212470696. PMID: 23554844; PMCID: PMC3607492.

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