Shock waves and laser therapy, a non-surgical way to ease some chronic pain

Shock waves and laser therapy, a non-surgical way to ease some chronic pain


Pain can affect each of us differently, but when it gets in the way of life, it becomes something no one can ignore.

As I continue my training for a half-marathon, I am feeling discomfort from a painful bone spur on my right foot and a burning in my bum hip. To make matters worse, my family doctor alerted me after bloodwork, that I am taking too many anti-inflammatory medications.

I have already had a bone spur removed from my left foot, and I don’t want to go through another surgery to remove the one on my right. In an effort to find an alternative therapy, I researched my options and found a local chiropractor who uses shock wave and laser treatment to help with painful spurs and other ailments.

I visited Dr. Mark Schmall at the Spine, Sport, and Injury Therapy Center at 4915 Utica Ridge Road in Davenport.

“Many patients have chronic conditions that have not healed correctly or have healed with scar tissue,” Schmall said. “The shockwave and laser therapy are very effective for these conditions. Through pressure waves, shockwave therapy produces both mechanical and chemical changes in the soft tissue leading to accelerated healing and pain reduction.”

With the use of extracorporeal and trigger point shock wave therapy, strong energy pulses are applied to the affected area. The pulses occur for short periods of time, creating micro-cavitation bubbles that expand and burst. The force created by these bubbles penetrate tissue and stimulates cells in the body that are responsible for bone and connective tissue healing. The powerful sound waves can help break up inflammation, scar tissue, calcification, and adhesion. The treatment is similar to what is used to break up kidney stones.

The treatment can accelerate the healing process by stimulating the metabolism and enhancing blood circulation to regenerate damaged tissue.

Conditions that respond well to these therapies include heel pain/plantar fasciitis, bicipital tendinitis, rotator cuff injury, knee pain, sacroiliac, and low back pain, neck pain, and headaches. The therapy can be utilized for both acute and chronic soft tissue conditions

Benefits of the treatment include improved soft tissue healing; quicker recovery pain and inflammation reduction.

Schmall has offered the therapy for about four years and has treated more than a thousand patients with a satisfaction rate of about 85 percent. “We have been successful at treating conditions where surgery was the only offered option to the patient,” he said.

Depending on the condition, Schmall explains that a trial treatment is done over four to five visits in about a two to three-week period. If the results are positive, the full treatment could take up to 12 weeks.

Schmall recommends the treatment to patients that have not responded well to traditional medical, chiropractic or physical therapy or are looking for a drug-free and surgery-free alternative for pain relief and soft tissue healing.

You can learn more about shock wave and laser treatment at Dr. Schmall’s practice by visiting or by calling 563-484-7806.

With a few more treatments on my hip and bone spur, I may just be able to run that half-marathon pain-free.


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