SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — A new therapy is now available in Sioux Falls to help treat chronic pain and inflammation. It’s called SoftWave therapy but is sometimes referred to as shockwave therapy.
The machine manufactured in Germany looks a little like an ultrasound machine but instead sends an acoustic pulse that packs quite a punch.
“When we’re doing the SoftWave treatment, we want to find an area that is painful,” Origin Health Registered Nurse Kelsey Moen said. “We stay on the area that hurts for about 15 to 20 seconds and then move to another area.”
“You definitely feel it, it doesn’t feel amazing,” Origin Health SoftWave patient Caleb Nilson said.
But Nilson says the quick three minutes of discomfort during the treatment is well worth it.
“After the first treatment when I got up, I didn’t feel my knee at all anymore,” Nilson said. “It felt crazy, it’s like I forgot that you don’t have to feel your joints constantly.”
Nilson is young and highly active but has been dealing with knee pain for the past four years.
“Playing flag football and pickup basketball and stuff it started bucking all the time, it would be hard to squat and even walk sometimes,” Nilson said.
He finally saw a doctor about his knee almost a year ago who told him he likely had tendonitis and that ice or ibuprofen were his best treatment options.
It’s exactly the kind of patient Origin Health was thinking of when they decided to bring this new SoftWave treatment to Sioux Falls.
“There’s always that weird gray area of people that say, we’ve done massage, we’ve done chiropractic, we’ve done physical therapy, it gets better for a little bit but then it goes away. The surgeon looks at it and says you’re not quite ready or there yet and you want to hold off on surgery as long as possible,” Dr. Joe Moen, the owner and chiropractor at Origin Health said.
It’s why they’ve already seen a wide age range of patients trying out this new treatment in search of relief.
“We have seen a high school soccer player who injured his foot and wants to get back into the game, a retired gentleman that loves golf and he is having issues with his shoulder and inhibits his golf swing and then a mother with a special needs child who’s having trouble lifting them up from their wheelchair,” Kelsey Moen said.
From knee pain to shoulder pain, arthritis or stress fractures, Moen says this therapy can help any inflamed or damaged tissue.
“With each shockwave that is going through, it is breaking up the oxidated stress, breaking up the scar tissue, to trick the tissue to start that natural healing process,” Moen said. “It’s a high-frequency pulse, we do about 500 shockwaves per treatment, that lasts about three minutes. It’s pretty quick and intense; we want to find some painful areas, because then we know we’re making a difference and we’re activating that natural healing cascade.”
It’s a new technology in Sioux Falls but is already a popular treatment across the country.
“There’s entire clinics on the east coast and west coast where all they do is shockwave therapies,” Joe Moen said. “Most professional athletic teams have them now, professional tennis players, golf players tend to travel with them, it really keeps people on their feet.
“It’s far and away better than what it was before, I can do full workouts and squats, I can go run and stuff like that and my knee doesn’t bother me,” Nilson said.
Soft Wave treatments are noninvasive and take about 10 minutes to complete.
If you’re interested in trying the new therapy, Origin Health recommends beginning with a discovery visit to see if you’re a good candidate.
“During that visit, we will assess you, ask questions and administer treatment on you looking for hotspots,” Kelsey Moen said. “Hot spots are areas that are tender, damaged, inflamed, if we can find hot spots, generally you are a good candidate for SoftWave because in healthy tissue, the SoftWave moves freely through that tissue, but if there’s damaged tissue, with each SoftWave, it creates this sheering force, breaking up scar tissue.”
If you’re a good candidate for the treatment, they usually recommend coming in once a week for five to six weeks.