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Focused vs. Radial

It’s important to understand the difference between ‘Focused’ Shockwave Therapy (what we offer here at FocusWave Clinic) and ‘Radial’ Wave Therapy. Be aware, Focused shockwaves are also called ‘Linear’ shockwaves. Radial wave technology is also called ‘Acoustic’ wave or 'Pulse' wave or 'XYZ' wave therapy.

Many indications in Orthopaedics, Sexual Health, Neurology, and Aesthetics can ONLY be treated by ‘Focused’ Shockwave Therapy. ‘Radial’ wave technology does have many uses in the medical industry and it can be effective for certain treatments, but not others.

For treatment of sexual dysfunction or urological conditions, however, only focused shockwaves should be used. The vast majority of the peer reviewed literature regarding the safety and efficacy of shockwave therapy uses FOCUSED or LINEAR shockwaves, not radial.

Key Differences

  • Focused treatments produce actual shockwaves – they travel at 1500 meters per second.
  • Radial treatments do not produce actual shockwaves – they travel at 10 meters per second.
  • Focused shockwaves are electromagnetic and can be directed to very specific locations and depths within the body.
  • Radial treatments only create surface-level pressure outward and thus cannot achieve the depths inside the body where rehabilitation needs to occur to reverse certain issues.
  • Focused shockwaves reach the cellular level of your condition and offer a painless, side-effect-free treatment.
  • Radial waves only reach the tissues of your issues. They are painful, cause redness and inflammation, usually require numbing creams, and there can be downtime following the procedure.
  • During Focused Shockwave Treatments, clinicians need only lightly press the wand on the affected area to achieve the needed depths to treat the issue.
  • During some Radial Wave Treatments, clinicians need to press very hard on the tissue to achieve any kind of depth, and in some cases, have to literally ‘pancake’ the affected body part, resulting in an uncomfortable, ineffective therapy.
  • Shockwave Therapy is a revolutionary, relatively young modality. The efficacy rates for some indications are truly astounding. See the tremendous amount of evidence here. But be clear: in most of the listed peer-reviewed papers which show exceptional results for shockwave therapy - only a Focused shockwave device was used; not Radial.

    At FocusWave Clinic in Ottawa and Kitchener-Waterloo, we are using only the industry standard, regulator-approved, Focused shockwave device. The bottom line is you should ask your provider if they are offering Focused or Linear Shockwave Therapy, or if it is Radial or Acoustic.

    Learn more about this amazing therapy by downloading the complimentary E-Book.

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