The effects of ultrasound and shockwave treatment on muscle regional oxygen saturation using near-infrared spectroscopy

Anna Lubkowska, Aleksandra Radecka, Miłosz Parchimowicz, Iwona Bryczkowska, Monika Chudecka



Introduction: Therapeutic pressure waves are often used to treat various musculoskeletal disorders but the biological effect is still not fully known. This study investigating the effects of sound waves of different stimulus strength used in ultrasound therapy (UST) and radial extracorporeal shockwave therapy (rESWT) treatments on muscle oxygen saturation and surface temperature in terms of the trophic effect, using near-infrared spectroscopy.

Materials and methods: 41 healthy volunteers including 27 ones treated with UST and 14 ones treated with rESWT: aged 22–48 years. Oxygen saturation and surface temperature measurements of the infraspinatus muscle region were repeated 4 times: immediately before (T0) and after the treatment (T1), and 15 min (T2) and 30 min after the treatment (T3). Muscle oxygen saturation was measured at 2 depths: 20 mm (sensor 1 – S1) and 12.5 mm (sensor 2 – S2).

Results: The value of regional oxygen saturation (rSO2 [%]) statistically significantly decreased immediately after 15 and 30 min following the treatment in the subjects treated with UST. The baseline values, amounting to 71.26 ±5.47% (S1) and 88.26 ±2.89% (S2) for respective depths, significantly decreased following the treatment to 68.89 ±5.26% (T2) and 68.93 ±5.12% (T3) at a measuring depth of 20 mm and to 86.63 ±5.37% (T1) and 86.52 ±3.38% (T2) at a measuring depth of 12.5 mm.

Conclusions: The results obtained indicate only the treatment with UST has a significant effect on changes in regional oximetry, which induces deep hyperaemia and increased temperature of the deeper tissues, promoting the de-dissociation of oxygen from haemoglobin to tissues, inducing the trophic effect.


near infrared spectroscopy; near-infrared spectroscopy; ultrasound therapy; extracorporeal shockwave therapy


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