Myofascial Acoustic Compression Therapy (aka Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy, ESWT) is a new non-surgical technology that uses acoustic pulses to treat acute and chronic pain in muscles, tendons and joints. These acoustic sound waves are short duration, intense energy pulses that are generated outside of the body (extracorporeal) to stimulate healing for various conditions of the musculoskeletal system. The sound waves converge to a point that permeates within soft tissue to exert a mechanical stress on cells. This includes breaking up areas of muscular spasm, forcing lactic acid out of damaged tissues, and promoting blood flow and oxygen to help revitalize damaged cells.
How does MyACT work?
The concept of focused Myofascial Acoustic Compression Therapy works by healing at the speed of sound. To understand how it works let’s take a look at the Latin word myofascial: ‘myo’ meaning muscle and ‘fascia’ meaning band. Fascia is the connective tissue that surrounds all muscles, tendons, ligaments, bones, and organs within the body. In healthy tissue this system is oriented in an organized wavy pattern that is parallel to the direction of pull. When the system experiences physical trauma, scarring or inflammation occurs, this makes the elasticity more restricted, which can create tension or pain in the rest of the body. This new technology uses a uniquely developed linear and focused pressure wave aimed to pinpoint these specific tissues within the body. Gel pads are used to create various penetration depths ranging between 1-30mm into the target tissue. The treatment intensity ranges from 18 different levels measured in millijoules per square millimeter (mJ/mm2). This technology is now FDA registered for care in the United States.
What conditions can MyACT treat?
Applications include the treatment of and pain relief associated with multiple conditions such as:
- Acute and chronic sports related injuries
- Tennis/Golfers elbow
- Shoulder pain
- Repetitive stress injuries
- Soft tissue strain
- Plantar fasciitis
- Achilles tendinopathies
- Foot and heel pain
- Calcaneal heel spurs
- Myofascial pain syndrome
- Trigger points/Adhesions
- Occupational injuries
- Pain in neck, back, and gluteal region
What to expect with a MyACT treatment?
- The clinician identifies the treatment site(s) and builds a treatment plan based on subjective and objective findings.
- The clinician applies a thin coat of coupling gel to the area that helps translate the acoustic sound waves from the sound head to the body.
- The clinician will begin treatment at a very low intensity setting and increase power based on the tolerance of the patient and based on treatment site. This output level and acoustic wave frequency will vary based on location and type of tissue being treated.
- The clinician will move the acoustic sound head around the treatment area and focus on areas where the patient elicits a dull ache. The patient will report when he or she feels the ache and the intensity will be adjusted to the tolerable level. The treatment is based on the patient’s feedback with the clinician.
- After the treatment is completed, the coupling get will be wiped clean and the patient can return to normal activities of daily living. It is likely the patient may experience some minor aches or discomfort after treatment and it’s not uncommon for patients to notice a flushed or reddened skin around the treatment site. The patient is advised to hydrate (20oz more than normal water intake) before and after treatment to flush the body and remove toxins.
- A typical treatment can last between 5-20 minutes or 1000-3000 pulses.
- Frequency of treatment ranges between 7-14 days.
- 4-10 treatments may be necessary before lasting improvement can be achieved.
- With acute pain, a few sessions is often successful.
What are the contraindications for MyACT?
- Tumor tissue
- Blood clotting disorders (Blood thinners)
- History of bleeding problems
- Anyone with a pacemaker
- Lung tissue in focal area
How effective is MyACT?
For more than 20 years, many types of focused sound wave therapies have been used in medicine to stimulate the healing process. Recent studies suggested Myofascial Acoustic Wave Therapy (aka ESWT) is an effective and safe treatment. A 2014 independent study reported a success rate ranging from 65% and 91% while complications are low or negligible.
Are you a candidate for this novel therapy? If you have questions about Myofascial Acoustic Compression Therapy and whether it may be helpful for you, please call or visit our office today.
You can find additional research information at the following links: