Extracorporeal shockwave therapy and sports-related injuries

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Translational Research in Biomedicine, 1662-4068

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Sports and physical activities have become a key in the daily living of the present century. Well-being and fitness are common words in modern language. High performance comes with a quote of physiological demands that have to go beyond normal to be competitive. These factors have increased the number of injuries both from acute trauma and from biomechanical overuse. Treatments are often related to pain and load control, medication and physical therapy. Results are usually positive, but in certain number of patients, the sports-related condition becomes chronic. At this stage, the biological physiopathology is more of a disease than a mechanical injury. It comes with changes in blood supply and vascularity, and a lack of healing capacity of the tissues. The poor migration and differentiation of cells result in lower metabolic activity that usually develops a biomechanical derangement of function. Treatment changes target: revascularization and cell repopulation. This is the case of chronic tendinopathies and stress fractures. Conventional treatments may not be enough in certain cases, and surgical procedures are commonly recommended. However, they are associated with complications, long periods of recovery, pain, and high costs. Extracorporeal shockwave treatments (ESWT) have provided a noninvasive therapeutic tool that enhances healing by means of revascularization and tissue stimulation through mechanotransduction. Sports injuries are the perfect scenario for ESWT. Chronic conditions such as tendinopathies or stress fractures are common in sports overuse syndromes, and failure to succeed with conventional medical treatments usually ends with the indication for surgical procedures. ESWT has replaced the need for surgery, and become a common treatment with no complications and great pain control and function recovery. Standardization of techniques and protocols, larger randomized control trials, and new research lines for basic sciences and understanding biological pathways of mechanotransduction are the main goals of the International Society for Medical Shockwave Treatments. These efforts will strengthen the power of ESWT for sports medicine and other medical specialties.

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Enfermedades musculares
Traumatismos en atletas
Tratamiento con ondas de choque extracorpóreas