Sound Advice

SoftWave® therapy relieves pain, regenerates injured tissue.

Alita Gonsalves Sikora, MD, is board-certified in physical medicine and rehabilitation and practices integrative medicine. She treats many patients for pain and offers natural solutions for relief as well as traditional remedies such as pain medications and steroid injections. When Dr. Sikora wound up in pain herself, she knew which direction she wanted to follow.

Photo by Jordan Pysz.

Alita Gonsalves Sikora, MD

“While at the gym, I bent over to pick up something and immediately felt a sharp pulling in my back,” Dr. Sikora describes. “Then came a stabbing pain so bad that I couldn’t make it through my workout. I had to leave the gym. I could barely get in and out of the car because of the pain. It was a 10 on a scale of one to 10.

“I needed to do something for the pain, but I didn’t want to take medication for it, and there’s significant research that shows that steroids aren’t good for the body’s tissues and can actually accelerate degeneration. What I wanted was a natural solution that would actually heal my back strain.”

Just such a solution was not hard to find. Dr. Sikora shares office space with lifestyle optimization physician Mel Richardson, MD. Dr. Richardson shares Dr. Sikora’s affinity for natural approaches to treating painful conditions. When Dr. Richardson noticed Dr. Sikora was in pain, he offered to treat her using a special, noninvasive protocol called SoftWave therapy, which uses a unique type of sound waves to reduce painful inflammation and heal injured tissue.

“I use the leading-edge shock wave therapy device, called SoftWave, that is changing treatment for pain and has proved to be very useful,” Dr. Richardson observes. “It is highly effective in treating many pain syndromes and health conditions. It has shown tremendous success at relieving pain and promoting tissue regeneration.”

Dr. Sikora can attest to that. She says that after “Dr. Richardson saw me shuffling around the office holding my back against the muscle spasms,” he performed a single SoftWave treatment. That treatment, she says, has helped ease her pain immensely and has her “feeling much better.”

Golfer’s Bane

Thomas Corr, 64, is president, CEO and majority owner of an energy company that buys components and various grades of gasoline from suppliers across the globe. His company then blends the components and sells the blended gas to end users such as Wawa® Convenience Stores, Sheetz® and Cumberland Farms.

“I grew up in Burlington County, New Jersey, and moved to Houston, Texas, in 1980,” Thomas recounts. “That’s when I got into the energy business. I later moved to Boston, Massachusetts, and in 1988, I took over my current company. I moved it down to Vero Beach in 1989.”

Being in Florida allows Thomas to golf year-round. But a recurring problem with his right arm intensified so much that Thomas was kept off of the golf course for more than a year.

“I’ve always had an issue with chronic tendinitis in my elbows and arms,” he relates. “In January 2018, my right elbow became so painful that I couldn’t swing a golf club anymore. I put ice on it to decrease the inflammation, which helped a little, but my elbow was still inflamed and painful.

“I talked to three different doctors, and two of them wanted to operate. The Mayo Clinic said the tendinitis, also called golfer’s elbow, was going to take a long time to heal and suggested I keep putting ice on it.

“But a year went by, and I still couldn’t golf. Then a physician friend of mine who also had tendinitis in his arms told me about Dr. Richardson’s SoftWave therapy. He had it done, and now his arms are fine.”

Sound Theory

SoftWave therapy evolved out of the treatment used to break up kidney stones, though SoftWave is completely nontraumatic. It utilizes patented, electrohydraulically produced, unfocused shock waves that elicit a cellular response resulting in a profound anti-inflammatory effect and improved blood flow to the areas treated. The additional blood flow typically results in tissue remodeling and a sustained resolution to the underlying condition.

“First, the SoftWaves enter the injured tissue and cause anti-inflammatory signalers to shut down the inflammatory response,” Dr. Richardson explains. “The result is typically profound pain relief.” This benefit occurs quickly, at the time the treatment is performed.

The second phase of SoftWave therapy’s action is the attraction of stem cells from around the body to the injured area.

“The stem cells heal and regenerate damaged tissue,” Dr. Richardson notes. “But it takes time for the tissue to fully regenerate, so the maximum benefit of the treatment occurs anywhere from six to 12 weeks following therapy, even though the pain may disappear completely before that.

“SoftWave therapy is noninvasive, and there are no needles used. It is a conservative measure with no risks involved that can be tried before resorting to surgery.”

“During a SoftWave therapy session, Dr. Richardson first adjusts the energy level of the sound waves to my pain level,” Dr. Sikora describes. “He asked me about my pain, then treated my back until the pain subsided, so I only feel a few minutes of discomfort.”

“It’s like an ultrasound,” Thomas adds. “Dr. Richardson rubs the machine head around my elbow. A treatment session takes 15-20 minutes max.”

Another use for SoftWave therapy is the non-painful treatment of erectile dysfunction and urinary incontinence.

Photo by Jordan Pysz.

Thomas Corr

“It is also a noninvasive, non-pharmacologic method for treating many types of sexual dysfunction,” Dr. Richardson states. “SoftWave therapy can be used in place of what is called an O-Shot® or P-Shot® to help women achieve orgasm.”

A typical course of SoftWave therapy is one treatment a week for three weeks, although some conditions require additional treatments to obtain maximum benefit.

“No Recurrence”

SoftWave therapy was effective for both Dr. Sikora and Thomas.

“After that one SoftWave therapy session on my back, the pain decreased by 80 percent,” Dr. Sikora raves. “It went from a 10 to a two. SoftWave therapy helps with the muscle spasms as well, so I can make it through the workday.

“Dr. Richardson has recommended doing two more treatments. He thinks that after that, my back pain will be completely gone.”

“I went through four SoftWave therapy sessions over a period of four weeks beginning in February 2019,” Thomas remembers. “Dr. Richardson told me it takes six to 12 weeks to achieve the full stem cell growth and benefit of the therapy, and within six to eight weeks, my pain was gone.

“My first treatment was in February. By late April or early May, I was golfing three to four days a week. And I still am. I’ve had no recurrence of tendinitis pain in my right elbow since the treatment.”

“I have many patients who are snowbirds from New York and New Jersey, and they are very aware of SoftWave therapy,” Dr. Sikora relates. “They say that many college and professional athletic teams use this therapy to help heal sports-related injuries. It’s exciting that Dr. Richardson is making this technology available to patients in Vero Beach.”


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