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Experience with ESWT - Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy

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Jazzy injured her iliopsoas muscle back in Sep. We thought it was CCL partial tear until several weeks ago. after few weeks of more strict rest with meds (per ortho doctor) and with no improvement, I took her to a licensed physical therapist. I have been taking her every other day for two weeks now. When we started, she said that if we didn't see much improvement in two weeks then we can try accupuncture or ESWT - Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy. It is used on humans and horses and some dogs. Supposely, it re-injure the muscle with low shockwave to activate healing process all over again. Right now, she has a scar tissue that didn't heal right and she is not able to extend her leg. When she measured her extension, her left leg could go up to 162 degrees where the right leg could go only up to 120 degree or so. During physical therapy, she gets joint mobilization (slowly extending her muscles) and laser treatment. We were going to put her on water treadmill later but she is not ready yet. I walk her daily and let her do certain tricks (walking backwards, taking bow etc) for up to 5 minutes (per therapist).

 

I met with an acupuncturist last week but I wasn't sure if I liked what I heard. Honestly, money is not an issue because I will come up with it..whatever it takes. I just rather spend my money on something more promising. So I kind of like the idea of this shockwave therapy. But I am a little skeptical about the laser treatment (the one she's getting now) and I don't know if ESWT is something similar to it or not. One of the orthopedic doctors I talked to said the laser treatment is all superstitious. I asked around but I don't know anyone who had this shockwave therapy done on their dog. I have a consultation with another orthopedic doctor on Monday to discuss this option. I want to do my research before I meet with him. Any information is appreciated.

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I met with an accupuncturist last week but I wasn't sure if I liked what I heard. Honestly, money is not an issue because I will come up with it..whatever it takes. I just rather spend my money on something more promising. So I kind of like the idea of this shockwave therapy. But I am a little skeptical about the laser treatment (the one she's getting now) and I don't know if it's something similar to it or not. One of the orthopedic doctors I talked to said the laser treatment is all superstitious. I asked around but I don't know anyone who had this shockwave therapy done on their dog. I have a consultation with another orthopedic doctor on Monday to discuss this option. I want to do my research before I meet with him. Any information is appreciated.

 

Hi Inu, I also heard about the laser therapy from Odin's surgeon. She had a very high opinion of it. However, I used to work with lasers (operating a machine called a flow cytometer). The lasers are separate from the machine and I had to tune them and adjust them through several mirrors and dichroic lenses. I burned myself several times; our lasers were powerful enough to light concrete on fire. I will certainly admit I don't know everything about light and lasers but from what I DO know, I could not for the life of me understand how shooting a laser into your injured joint would help it. I asked the surgeon several times and she didn't understand the gist of my question, because she kept saying it "really loosens it up". My question was still "how?" What exactly would lasing photons do? Anyone who knows anything about this, it would be really interesting to hear.

 

As for acupuncture, I will say I've had it myself and it is amazing. It helps a lot of things western medicine just really doesn't do a good job at - chronic, recurring conditions, poor healing, etc. So here's a vote for giving that a try if the other treatments don't seem to be working. Good luck to you guys!! Odin sends joint mojo.

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Many times acupuncture in animals is laser acupuncture and it does not hurt the dogs. The shock therapy you talk about above sounds similar to what they do on humans with a Tens Unit (sp?). The muscle contracts and releases but can't say for sure if it is the same thing. I had the "shock" therapy a few years back and off and on for years to rehab after knee surgery and at times to delay knee surgery.

 

My acd had the shock therapy on both her legs that had TPLO to help build back up the muscle (basically using the muscle). She also still gets laser acupuncture which she enjoys. She has also had needle acupuncture along with chiropractic care. My toy poodle also gets the laser acupuncture periodically.

 

I will ask this weekend what the "shock" treatment is called that Foster received. We started it within days of her 2nd TPLO and I think it made a huge difference in her recovery time. She did not have nearly as much muscle atrophy

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I wish I had an answer for you - and me both! I have an appt. in about 10 days to have Lucy evaluated for ESWT for the arthritis in her front feet. Like you, I'm a bit skeptical - but this ortho vet has done it a lot, and I'm confident he won't suggest it if he doesn't think it'll help. It won't cure the arthritis - but she likely has tendonitis as well. It seems that there isn't a really really solid explanation for how it works - but I think it's better than laser.

 

BTW, Lucy strained her iliopsoas a few years ago too. One exercise that was recommended for her, once she was up and mobile again (it took a LONG time to get it properly diagnosed...) was to walk sideways on a hillside. I found a "sunker" soccer field, which allowed me to walk on the flat top part, and her to walk beside me, with the injured leg on the downhill side. We'd walk the length of the field, then walk back on the flat, and do it again. It forces the muscle to stretch out down the hill.

 

What was funny about this soccer field....it was at the high school. One parking lot had a sign which said, "No Dogs Allowed." I never parked there. I parked on the other side that had a sign which said, "No Pets Allowed." I was ready to defend my SPORTS dog (agility) by saying she wasn't a pet!! But we went early in the morning, and never saw anybody there. Dang, I had my story all ready too!

 

Best of luck to you.

 

diane

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Thank you all for the info and suggestions on/off-line. I met with the surgeon today and I decided to give ESWT a try tomorrow (and another one in 3 weeks). Supposely, he's one of the two major doctors that perform this in the U.S. but still, he says he rarely see iliopsoas injury. So no gurantee if this works or not.

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Oh yes. I won't be able to do every other day anymore but as often as I can. My friend lend me one of the lasers for horses so I'll be trying that as well. I am keeping everything crossed that this would make a difference.

 

Did you say you had MRI or ultrasound done before the procedure to narrow down the area?

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