A shockwave can be defined as an acoustic disturbance - think of a sonic boom - that both carries enegy and transfers that energy through a medium, like air or tissue. There are two primary commercial devices for wave therapy currently marketed to men, Focused Shockwave Therapy and Radial Wave Therapy, sometimes called pressure wave therapy or acoustic wave therapy. This post is meant to describe both treatment devices, the similarites, as well as the biggest differences between the two. If you're a consumer looking for this sort of therapy, this might be the most important information for you.
Both the Focused Shockwave Therapy devices and Radial Wave Therapy devices emit a sound wave, but the speed of that soundwave dictates whether it is a shockwave or an 'acoustic wave.' The two types of devices differ in how the wave is generated, the depth of tissue penetration, the focus of energy, the shape of the pressure wave, and the effect on the target tissue.
Both Focused Shockwave Therapy devices and Radial Pressure Wave Therapy devices cause the following:
Focused Shockwave Therapy Characteristics
Focused Shockwave Therapy is the 'Gold Standard' for the treatment in erectile dysfunction, and Peyronie's disease, and there is only 1 FDA approved device on the market in the United States, the Storz DUOLITH® SD1. The newest models are private labeled in the United States by Chattanooga as the Intelect® F-SW™, which holds the same FDA approval. The following are the benefits and unique effects of Focused Shockwave Therapy:
Radial Pressure Wave Therapy Characteristics
Radial Wave Therapy Devices are the most commonly used and marketed for the treatment of erectile dysfunction, although the scientific research is insuffecicent to show that Radial Wave Therapy is effective for erectile dysfunction. They are more popular for use given their lower cost and FDA classification (Class I), which is the same as an over-the-counter electric toothbrush.
Focused Shockwave Therapy has been demonstrated in the scientific research to be the standard for the treatment of erectile dysfuntion. In all of the large medical research studies (RCT or meta-analyses or RCTs) the only devices used were Focused Shockwave Therapy, such as the Storz DUOLITH® SD1, private labeled by Chattanooga as the Intelect® F-SW™.
What to Ask a Prospective Provider
If you've come this far in your research, you may be well aware of the differences between Focused Shockwave Therapy and Radial Wave Therapy; but, some clinic's staff arent' always aware of the differences and it may be difficult to tell when making a call to their office. There are some helpful questions that you can ask a prospective provider if it's not clear when you call:
If the answer is yes, then you may not be getting Focused Shockwave Therapy which makes it difficult to justify the cost that many clinics are required to charge for licensing certain marketing terms for the treatment.
Nexus HealthSpan offers Nexus Shockwave Therapy and utilizes the Storz DUOLITH® SD1, private labeled by Chattanooga as the Intelect® F-SW™. Nexus charges a discounted fee for treatments and provides further discounts for packages of treatments; in our experience, most men require more treatments than would be traditionally assumed, depending on the erectile dysfunction cause.