What is Shockwave Therapy?
Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy (ESWT) is a non-invasive treatment that assists with the body’s natural healing process. It involves sending shockwaves through your skin towards the painful/affected /damaged tissue.
How does it work?
The treatment produces an anti-inflammatory response which increases metabolic and circulatory activity. This stimulates your body’s healing process thereby promoting recovery and remodelling of damaged/dysfunctional tissues.
ESWT aids in the breakdown of scar tissue and calcification and can also stimulate pain relief through neural mechanisms (reduction of nerve signals to the brain.)
What conditions can ESWT treat?
Shockwave therapy can be used to treat chronic tendon inflammation in the hip, knee, shoulder, elbow, Achilles and sole of the foot. It is recommended for conditions such as heel pain (plantar fasciitis), tennis or golfers elbow, tendinitis of the shoulder, tendinopathies of the Achilles tendon, hamstring and patella, as well as other painful conditions such as trochanteric bursitis and shin splints.
What are the Benefits?
- Stimulates the body’s natural self-healing process
- Immediate reduction in pain
- Increased Range of movement
- May eliminate need for surgery
What is the Success Rate?
ESWT is a highly effective treatment for chronic tendon disorders and is widely used in practice. Research demonstrates a 70-80% success rate across a vast range of conditions. It may not work for everyone, but it helps most people when other conservative treatments have failed. It has helped many people to undergo invasive or surgical treatments
Treatments should last no longer than 10 minutes dependent on pain severity and history of the condition. You should expect to attend 3-4 treatment sessions, one weekly apart for the best results.
How to prepare for treatment
- No pain relief prior to treatment sessions
- Stop use of Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (for example ibuprofen, aspirin) 14 days prior to first treatment, throughout treatment and 6 weeks after final treatment session
- Continue with stretching and eccentric loading programme
- Adequate rest (Avoid continuous overloading of pain site)
- No strenuous, pain provoking or high impact activity for 48 hours post treatment
What to expect during and/or after treatment?
Some soreness and pain may occur as ESWT initiates an inflammatory reaction in the tissues. You may experience some side effects after treatment including skin redness, bruising, haematoma, localised red spots and numbness. All of these should resolve in a few days prior to your next treatment.
ESWT should not be completed if you:
- Are pregnant
- Are taking anti-platelets/anticoagulants
- Have a blood clotting disorder
- Have been diagnosed with bone cancer
- Have a cardiac pacemaker
- Have had a steroid injection in the last 12 weeks/previous tendon rupture
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