What is Shockwave therapy?
Shockwave therapy (otherwise known as Extracorporeal Shockwave therapy- ESWT) is an evidence based, non-invasive and highly effective treatment option for tendon related pain. The term shockwave refers to mechanical pressure pulses that expand as a wave in the body. The energy wave is created from a hand-piece used by the practitioner, and delivered to the target area, stimulating the body’s natural healing processes.
Shockwave Therapy acts by accelerating tissue repair and cell growth, giving an analgesic effect, and restoring mobility. Current research reports success rates between 65% and 91% in reducing pain after 3-5 sessions with an overall success rate of between 60% to 80% for a range of tendon pathologies.
How does Shockwave work?
1. Generation of Shockwaves: A device generates high-energy shockwaves, which are acoustic waves with a rapid rise in pressure. These shockwaves are typically produced by a compressed air mechanism or electromagnetic generator within the shockwave therapy device.
2. Application to Targeted Area: The physiotherapist or healthcare provider identifies the specific area of the body that requires treatment. A gel or oil is often applied to the skin to ensure good contact between the device’s applicator and the skin’s surface.
3. Transmission of Shockwaves: The shockwave therapy device is then applied to the skin, and shockwaves are transmitted through the skin to the underlying tissues. The shockwaves can penetrate deep into the body, reaching the targeted area.
4. Mechanical and Biological Effects: Shockwaves induce mechanical and biological effects in the tissues they pass through. These effects include microtrauma to the affected tissue, increased blood flow, the release of growth factors, and the stimulation of the body’s natural healing responses.
5. Pain Reduction and Tissue Healing: The microtrauma caused by the shockwaves triggers the body’s repair mechanisms, leading to enhanced tissue regeneration and healing. This process can help reduce pain, inflammation, and improve the overall function of the treated area.
6. Stimulation of Neovascularization: In some cases, shockwave therapy can stimulate neovascularization, which is the formation of new blood vessels in the targeted area. This increased blood flow can further support the healing process.
7. Sessions and Follow-Up: Depending on the condition being treated, patients typically undergo a series of shockwave therapy sessions, usually spaced several days apart. The number of sessions and the energy level of the shockwaves are adjusted based on the patient’s specific needs.
It’s important to consult with a healthcare professional to determine whether shockwave therapy is suitable for your specific condition and to receive appropriate treatment.
Shockwave Therapy can be used in the treatment of most tendon and fascia problems to relieve pain and stimulate healing but is specifically indicated in the treatment of:
- Heel Pain – Plantar fasciitis/Plantarfasciopathy
- Tennis and Golfers elbow
- Shoulder pain – calcified tendons, sub acromial pain syndrome, impingement
- Outer Hip Pain- gluteal tendinopathy
- Hamstring tendon problems
- Knee pain – runners knee / anterior knee pain / patellofemoral pain syndrome
- Achilles tendinopathy/tendon pain
By combining Shockwave with our Physiotherapy, Massage, Nutritional Therapy, Personal Training and Pilates services, we are among only a few clinics offering a multidisciplinary approach to your treatment and recovery.
If you are ready to see if Shockwave therapy is right for you, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01799530650 to schedule an appointment.
Does it hurt?
You may feel discomfort to begin with, however due to the analgesic effect many patients will feel relief following the treatment. It is common to experience some redness of the skin after treatment and occasionally bruising if your skin is sensitive.
Shockwave is approved and recommended by the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) and has been shown to be safe and effective.