Erectile dysfunction (ED) is at least irritating. There is no single remedy that works in all cases. That is why there are so many ways to treat the condition. It is difficult to say what will work for a particular situation, and quite often, men have to learn through trial and error.
Treating ED with single chemical-based medications is a new approach. Traditionally, men have relied on physiotherapy, phytotherapy, psychotherapy, and so on. Some of these traditional strategies work well. Researchers have learned a lot from them, modified them, made them more useful.
Acoustic wave therapy shares its mode of action with physiotherapy. Thus, it may help in many cases. Although it is not approved treatment in some countries, many users report enough benefits. There is lots of clinical research around this treatment. Thus, there is enough science behind it.
Physiotherapy and Sexual Health
Physiotherapy is gaining prominence in the treatment of many chronic health conditions, as many realize the high safety of such procedures.
Physiotherapists understand the relationship between pelvic floor health and erectile dysfunction. Physiotherapy not only helps with ED, but is used to help with urinary inconsistence, pelvic floor prolapses, and similar other conditions. It may have a role in both males and females (1).
Physiotherapy is not necessarily done in a clinic or under supervision. Even simple pelvic exercises are part of physiotherapy. Many men may benefit from pelvic floor exercises in 3 to 6 months. This means that other means like acoustic wave therapy may also help (2).
Sometimes it is a good idea to use some instruments to boost the effect of physiotherapy or exercise. Bio-feedback, electric stimulation are well-documented ways to help. They can considerably increase the benefit gained from exercise or other non-pharmacological treatments (3).
How Acoustic Wave Therapy Work?
Acoustic wave therapy is also called low-intensity shock wave therapy. It works on principles similar to ultrasound. What it does is send high energy acoustic waves deep inside the tissues to improve blood flow and encourage healing.
Acoustic wave therapy has a benefit of the ability to penetrate more in-depth, and advantage of deployment to difficult to reach body areas. It would be difficult to get a massage or even exercise deeper pelvic tissues, genitals. Some individuals may find such procedures embarrassing and thus prefer to do at home.
As acoustic wave treatment is not new by any means, there is lots of research into the area. Researchers think that it can help with erectile dysfunction by promoting the growth of smaller blood vessels, promoting local blood flow, stimulating regeneration. It could be especially useful for those not responding well to PDE5 inhibitors like Cialis or Viagra (4, 5).
Term acoustic wave therapy or shock wave therapy may sound sophisticated (or even frightening), but it is quite a simple thing that works on the well-proven principle, low-energy sound waves. There is no harmful radiation or anything like that involved.
The use of the therapy requires a specific instrument. Since for many going to a physiotherapist may be awkward; one of the better ways is to buy a device sold online. It is quite straightforward to use, and one can learn with some effort, with almost no risk involved.
It usually starts helping after 2-3 weeks. Specialists recommend using it in cycles, meaning using 4-6 weeks and then taking a break for a few weeks. The break gives time for tissues to regenerate better.
Not all instruments are similar; thus, before buying one, there is a need for proper study. Regretfully, at present, very few countries offer devices certified by health authorities, thus leaving the decision up to the users regarding the quality of equipment.
Does Acoustic Wave Therapy Help With Erectile Dysfunction?
That is the most critical question. In short, yes, but not in all the cases. Response in individuals would vary. Most can expect to get some benefit, though some may not feel any difference. There is no way to know or predict if it will work for someone or not. Thus, the only way to discover is by using it. It will help only on longer and prolong use, as it is a milder way to help in a chronic condition. Clinical trials show benefit after a few weeks, with 12 sessions each week. Repeated use may enhance results (6).
Researchers think that it may benefit more in specific subsets of the population, like those living with chronic metabolic disorders. It may especially help in erectile dysfunction of vascular origin. Thus, those living with atherosclerosis and hypertension for long may benefit better from it more (7).
One study found that acoustic wave therapy may also help those living with erectile dysfunction related to diabetes. It even helps if a person is not responding to PDE5 inhibitors like Viagra or Cialis. It will help better when taken with these medications. Half of those not getting enough response from Cialis or Viagra may expect improved results by combining drug treatment with acoustic wave therapy (8).
To conclude, though acoustic wave therapy may not be universally approved, it is one of the safe ways to improve erectile function. It is good to use it with or without other medications.