Are you suffering from erection problems? Are you looking to treat your condition safely without drugs or gimmicks? Are you confused about the different types of shockwave devices and even home use mail order versions? Then let me tell you the FACTS about inaccurate claims of radial shockwave devices and home use devices that companies, and medical providers are promoting, taking advantage of men like you who are seeking a long term cure.
The Facts: What Shockwave Devices Work for Erectile Dysfunction?
It is clinically proven that Focused shockwave (sometimes known as Linear or Low intensity shockwave) is a highly effective medical treatment that can restore a man’s natural ability to achieve and maintain an erection without drugs, pumps or invasive surgery. Focused shockwave treats the root causes of vascular ED and has been studied for decades all over the globe.
Some men, possibly concerned about embarrassment or expense, buy cheap, untested and ineffective devices promising to enable use of shockwave therapy for ED at home. These will not cure your ED, and will be potentially harmful to your health.
Unfortunately some practitioners are offering a variation of shockwave therapy that is used in physiotherapy and sports rehabilitation to treat conditions such as muscle and tendon pain. Radial shockwave is a fantastic tool for musculoskeletal conditions but is not suitable to treat erection problems.
A recent Systematic Review of Preclinical and Clinical Studies concluded that “No quality evidence was found to support the use of radial waves in humans for the treatment of erectile dysfunction. In animal models and at the cellular level, the results are contradictory. More research is needed”. You can read the full paper here: Are Radial Pressure Waves Effective in Treating Erectile Dysfunction?
More Pain, But No Gain with Radial Shockwave
As a leading Shockwave therapy expert I have seen a rise in commercial mail-order and radial shockwave devices for treatment for ED with no real benefit. Radial shockwave is an extremely painful treatment, when applied to the sensitive areas of the penis and perineal region. Due to the high oscillation and mechanical nature of the treatment, it can cause blisters and skin lesions. Some clinics even have to use numbing creams to reduce the pain during treatment with radial shockwave. Radial shockwave is only intended for musculo-skeletal structures like muscles and tendons and is not advised for sensitive private parts.
In contrast, treatment with Focus shockwave is pain-free and most patients don’t notice any discomfort during the session. Further, there is no need for any numbing cream with treatment with Focus shockwave.
Radial Vs Focused Shockwave for Erectile Dysfunction
Focused Shockwave – (ED Clinics use the following devices – Storz Medical DUOLITH SD1 ultra or SD1 T-TOP ultra)
Low intensity focused energy is delivered to a precise focal point inside the penis where the blood vessels and soft tissue degeneration has occurred. ED is mainly caused by vascular disorders and is often the root cause of ED. With a focused device the depth and level of energy can be controlled during the treatment. Low intensity focused energy is considered essential for the regeneration of blood vessel growth. Focused shockwave is comfortable and well tolerated on the penis and surrounding areas.
Radial Shockwave –
Radial shockwaves are high pressure waves, they are unable to penetrate deep into the tissues, they create superficial pressure that radiates outward, causing a pro-inflammatory response in the outer tissues – not inside the penis where the energy needs to be delivered to reverse ED. Radial shockwave is also extremely uncomfortable when applied to the penis and surrounding area.
Please beware! Radial shockwave treatments and devices promising shockwave therapy for ED at home, that quote clinical evidence are quoting evidence based on studies that have used Focused Shockwave technology. These false claims could be intentional or unintentional, perhaps they do not understand the science, but either way this is misleading men to believe they are offering the same treatment as quoted in the clinical research, when they in fact are not.
Shockwave Devices Are Not All Created Equal
Take a look at some of the evidence for yourself...
“Low intensity shock wave treatment is effective even in patients with severe erectile dysfunction who are PDE5i non-responders. After treatment about half of them were able to achieve erection hard enough for penetration with PDE5i.”
– The Journey of Urology: Penile Low Intensity Shock Wave Treatment is Able to Shift PDE5i Nonresponders to Responders: A Double-Blind, Sham-Controlled Study
“Shock wave therapy potentially allows a man to return to a more normal environment, where he doesn’t have to use medication. If he does still use medication, he will likely get a better result from it.”
– Penile Shock Wave Therapy Helps Men With Severe Erectile Dysfunction – Medscape
“Li-ESWT is the first treatment option for ED that has the potential to improve pharmacologically unassisted erectile function. The concept is unprecedented and revolutionary, and the effects at molecular and tissue level are largely unknown, although neoangiogenesis might have a key role. “
– Nature Reviews Urology: Low-intensity shockwave therapy for erectile dysfunction: Is the evidence strong enough?
“A study published in the journal of Therapeutic Advances in Urology concluded that low-intensity shock-wave treatment aimed outside the body is a revolutionary treatment for erectile dysfunction unprecedented qualities that can rehabilitate erectile tissue.”
– Therapeutic Advances in Urology
“Low-intensity shockwave therapy is a promising novel therapeutic modality for restoring erectile function in men with vasculogenic ED. It is a safe and nonpainful treatment with a long-lasting effect on erectile function.”
– Penile Low-Intensity Shock Wave Therapy
“Our hope is that Low-Intensity Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy will be incorporated as an effective and well tolerated non-invasive option into the armamentarium of treatments currently being used in the clinical management of men suffering from ED.”
– Low-intensity extracorporeal shockwave therapy for erectile dysfunction: a study in an Indian population
“It’s hard to argue against an erectile dysfunction treatment that is potentially disease modifying, is noninvasive, and seems to do no harm.”
– Urology Times: ED Therapy
“From our review, it is clear that LI-ESWT may have the potential to be the first-choice noninvasive treatment for patients with ED.”
– European Association of Urology: Low-intensity Extracorporeal Shock Wave Treatment Improves Erectile Function: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis
“Based on our results, LI-ESWT appears to have the potential to be a rapid and curative therapy for ED.”
– European Association of Urology: Can Low-Intensity Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy Improve Erectile Function? A 6-Month Follow-up Pilot Study in Patients with Organic Erectile Dysfunction
“Extracorporeal shock wave therapy improves erectile function in patients with Peyronie’s disease.”
– International Journal of Andrology
“Our findings indicate an improvement in both IIEF-EF and EHS, which lends support for the role of LiESWT in the treatment of organic ED.”
– Therapeutic Advances in Urology: Meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials that assess the efficacy of lowintensity shockwave therapy for the treatment of erectile dysfunction
“Focusing shock waves allows the desired effect to be confined to the target area, so that side effects outside the treatment zone can be reduced or even completely avoided. In most cases, shock wave treatment results in increased blood circulation and enhanced metabolic activity, leading to the onset of the healing process.”
– The Art of Shock Wave
“Low-intensity shockwaves (LISW) are known to produce revascularization and have been in evaluation and in use to treat erectile dysfunction (ED).”
“Low-intensity shock wave therapy seems to be an effective physical therapy for erectile dysfunction. Age and comorbidities are negative predictive factors of therapeutic response.”
“Penile LI-ESWT is a new modality that has the potential to treat a subgroup of severe ED patients. These preliminary data need to be reconfirmed by multicenter sham control studies in a larger group of ED patients.”
“The feasibility and tolerability of this treatment, coupled with its potential rehabilitative characteristics, make it an attractive new therapeutic option for men with erectile dysfunction.”