How shock waves can help with erectile dysfunction
With several million people affected worldwide, erectile dysfunction (ED) is a widespread condition with a variety of causes. Along with stress, psychological distress and high blood pressure, reduced blood circulation is one of the main organic causes. Here, Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy (ESWT) is a low-pain, effective and non-invasive treatment option.
How does shock wave therapy work for erectile dysfunction?
Conventional forms of therapy often only treat symptoms. In addition, interactions can occur or spontaneity may be limited. Shock wave therapy, on the other hand, focuses on a causal approach. For example, ESWT stimulates blood flow in the penis, which can lead to an improvement in erectile function:
Studies have shown that ESWT in vascular erectile dysfunction causes an increase in local metabolism and promotes hyperaemia (increased blood flow) and angiogenesis (formation of new blood vessels).
In addition, »mechanotransduction«, the conversion of physical signals into intracellular molecular processes, releases a number of biochemical substances such as VEGF, nitric oxides (NO) and substance P.
What are shock waves?
Shock waves are high-energy acoustic waves that can be generated in different ways. In the 1980s, shock waves were used in medicine for the first time for the non-surgical treatment of kidney stones. Later, ESWT was also used for the treatment of orthopaedic, neurological and urological indications such as ED, IPP (induratio penis plastica) and CPPS (chronic pelvic pain syndrome). Depending on the area of application and indication, high- or low-energy shock waves are used.
In medicine, these are generated extracorporeally, i.e. outside the body, in a handpiece, and introduced into the target tissue with the help of a medium, usually gel. No surrounding tissue is damaged in the process. The focal zone, the effective area with the highest energy density, is only created when the waves are bundled.
The procedure can be done without anaesthesia and on an outpatient basis. A therapy comprises about 6 – 10 sessions and, at approx. 15 minutes, the time expenditure is low for the user and for the patient.
The treatment is a largely low-risk, low-pain method with few side effects, and thus offers a promising alternative to conventional therapies.
How can I find a shock wave user for erectile dysfunction treatment?
Patients can search for a specialist near them on the ED website:
Physicians and institutes
New shock wave users can get listed on this website via