What is Radial Pressure Therapy (RPT) and What Can We Treat?

Radial Pressure Wave Treatment

There are many different types of therapeutic interventions that can be used to treat musculoskeletal disorders in physical therapy and RPW is a relatively newer, well researched, and highly effective treatment intervention.

Therapist explaining RPT

Radial Pressure Wave Therapy, or RPT for short, is similar but not the same as Shockwave Therapy (ESWT), which was first introduced to healthcare in Europe for the treatment of kidney stones (lithotripsy). Radial Pressure Wave Therapy is now used to treat more superficial conditions, deeper muscular conditions and tendinopathies. Radial Pressure Wave Therapy is proven to have the best results in more chronic conditions (an injury greater than 3 months old).

Foot RPT treatment

What exactly do we treat?

  • Achilles Tendonitis
  • Plantar Fasciitis
  • Trochanteric Tendonitis
  • Shin Splints
  • Patellar and Quadriceps Tendonitis
  • Lateral Epicondylitis (Tennis Elbow)
  • Medial Epicondylitis (Golfers Elbow)
  • Partial Thickness Rotator Cuff Tears
  • Biceps / Triceps Tendonitis
  • Myofascial Trigger Points and more

How does this work? When you experience a chronic pain condition, the body slowly shuts down the healing process to that area and essentially fails to continue to recognize tissue damage, or injury to a specific area over time. The RPW Therapy creates a metabolic response leading to microtrauma in the tissue. This process creates a new inflammatory reaction in the specific injured or painful area which will cause the body to begin the natural healing response once again.

Through the use of RPT, all of the conditions above are treated in a non-invasive way. The RPT machine has an applicator that generates a ballistic or kinetic wave of energy by the use of a small bullet driven by compressed air in a chamber. This energy wave is then delivered to the surface of the skin, and into the soft tissues beneath, in depths from 1 to 50 centimeters in a transverse and longitudinal manner. The treatment effect to the local area of tissue, and depth of the penetration of the acoustic wave is determined by the transmitter used in individualized treatments. There are more powerful attachments for deeper tissue targets, such as tendons, and broader attachments that work on more superficial tissue targets.

What does the research support? Research studies currently show a success rate between 72% and 80% for chronic conditions in as little as four treatments. These treatments are done once a week on average, and it only takes approximately five minutes!  

Why consider this treatment, and supplement it along with your physical therapy here at The Center? Radial Pressure Therapy has a highly effective success rate, it’s a non-surgical, non-invasive treatment which comes with lower risks and a quicker recovery period. For best results, after the RSW treatment course is complete, guided strengthening to the specific tissues should begin, which can be led by your skilled physical therapist here at The Center. If you have a chronic tendinopathy, ache or pain that you can’t seem to get to go away, or have failed conventional therapies, give us a call or come into the clinic to see if this may be an option for you!

Visit our Radial Pressure Therapy page here.

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