Over recent years, low-intensity shockwave therapy has gained popularity in the treatment of erectile dysfunction. The good news is that, if the right device is applied correctly by a licensed physician who is trained in using shockwave technology, this approach to treating erectile dysfunction can be highly effective. Conversely, the increased interest in shockwave therapy to address ED has led to a surge of “at home” shockwave therapy devices flooding the market – most backed by little to no scientific evidence and many providing men with highly negligible results.
SHOCKWAVE THERAPY – EFFECTIVE NON-INVASIVE TREATMENT FOR ED
GAINSWave™ (AKA Shockwave) therapy is a breakthrough, non-invasive treatment for erectile dysfunction. It uses high-frequency acoustical waves to improve the health of existing blood vessels and stimulate the formation of new blood vessels. The resulting improved blood flow helps any man, not just those with erectile dysfunction, to obtain stronger and more sustainable erections.
I employ two kinds of medical-grade shockwave devices – “radial” and “focused” – both approved by the FDA for musculoskeletal issues. I use this kind of technology because a medical device’s true ability to address the underlying causes of erectile dysfunction lies in its energy output capacity and application. A certain amount of energy is necessary to cause a biological response in the tissue of the penis. With a professional medical device and sufficient energy output, a microscopic trauma is caused in the corpus cavernosum (erectile tissue of the penis), which creates a stem cell response, encouraging neovascularization, nerve tissue formation and stimulation of nitric oxide production. Nitric oxide is the chemical naturally produced by the body that causes blood vessels to dilate – resulting in a stronger, firmer erection.
There are over 40 published research studies supporting the efficacy of low intensity shockwave therapy for erectile dysfunction – and the research often focuses on the specific devices I employ.
THE DUBIOUS NATURE OF AT-HOME DEVICES
ED is such a common – and highly undesirable – problem for many men. In fact research reveals 31 percent of men report some degree of sexual difficulty, and this only increases with age. Because of this, countless companies are marketing “at home” devices to men looking to enhance their sexual function and “cure” ED. However the majority of these companies are making false claims about these devices – positioning them as equivalent to the treatment provided in a medical office by a medical provider using a medical-grade device.
SHOCKWAVE THERAPY IN A CLINIC VS “SHOCKWAVE” THERAPY AT HOME — WHAT ARE THE KEY DIFFERENCES?
Specifically, shockwave technology with negligible energy capacities, like many of the devices on the market that mimic shockwave, are simply not able to deliver adequate energy to address the root causes of ED. In fact, many of the “at home” devices have little effect whatsoever. Companies selling these devices, such as The Phoenix (formerly known as The Rocket), do not provide any scientific evidence to support their claims. While The Phoenix is described as “a patented, FDA registered medical device designed by medical professionals….that gives men safe, effective access to clinical strength Acoustic Wave Therapy from the comfort of home” – the company does not go into specifics about energy output or feature any studies that specifically supports their claims. Instead, they rely on vague marketing language purporting the efficiencies of shockwave therapy but not explaining their own product’s specific capacity to address ED.
Additionally, at-home devices are self-guided so the user is not afforded the benefits of being treated by a professional medical practitioner who is trained on how to optimize shockwave therapy protocols and procedures. As referenced in this study, “Shockwave Treatment of Erectile Dysfunction”, researchers followed a highly precise protocol in order to prove the efficacy of shockwave therapy. Products such as The Phoenix leave it up to the user to manage their treatment, and provide little if any instruction as to the exact protocols that need to be followed. Additionally, the Phoenix will only allow a certain number of pulses to be applied before the machine will turn off. So their ability to truly rehabilitate erectile tissue and treat the underlying cause of ED must be questioned.
I hope that men who are being targeted by these companies take the time to investigate claims and assess the efficacy of at home devices. I fear that many men – desperate for a quick, easy and affordable solution – will waste a lot of time, energy and money. The effectiveness of many of these devices is not proven and consumers should not expect significant or lasting results. Simply put, evidence and experience matter.