Shockwave Therapy

What is shockwave therapy?

Radial Shockwave Therapy also known as Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy is a safe, effective, non-invasive therapy used to speed up the recovery of and cure many musculoskeletal causes of sub-acute and chronic pain.

Some of the conditions shockwave therapy has been shown to help with are

  • Shoulder tendinopathy / bursitis / calcifications

  • Tennis / Golfers elbow (Medial / lateral epicondylalgia)

  • Plantar Fasciitis / Heel Spurs

  • Gluteal tendinopathy / Greater trochanteric pain syndrome

  • Patella Tendinopathy (Jumper’s Knee)

  • Osgood-Schlatters disease

  • Sever’s disease

  • Medial tibial stress syndrome (Shin Splints)

  • Achilles tendinopathy

  • Iliotibial band syndrome (Runner’s knee)

  • Myofascial Trigger Points / Tight Muscles

  • Dupuytren’s contracture

  • Trigger finger

 

How does shockwave therapy work?

A shockwave is an acoustic wave which carries high energy to the target tissue, where this energy promotes healing, regenerating and reparative processes.

During Radial Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy, a high-intensity sound wave is generated by the machine and transmitted from a probe through the skin where it interacts with the tissues of the body. This leads to many beneficial effects such as:

  • New Blood Vessel Formation

  • Reversal of Chronic Inflammation

  • Stimulation of Collagen Production

  • Dissolution of Calcifications (Calcified Fibroblasts)

  • Dispersion of Pain Causing Chemical (Mediator “Substance P”)

  • Release of Myofascial Trigger Points

 

Stimulation of these biological mechanisms creates an optimal healing environment. As the injured area is returned to normal, range of movement and functionality are restored and pain is relieved.

 

Originally introduced to the medical field to aid with the dissolution of kidney stones, further research found that shockwave therapy helped to speed up the bony and soft tissue healing process leading to its use with many other conditions. Clinical studies report an overall success rate above 75% and that when treating calcifications, 85% of cases had fully resolved when re-imaged within 4 sessions.

 

What does treatment involve?

The physiotherapist will assess you first to decide if shockwave therapy is a suitable treatment. Then, depending on your specific condition the treatment will involve delivering up to 3000 shocks which can take up to 10minutes. The average amount of treatments required is 5 (although most will notice significant improvements after 2) and the recommendation is that these sessions are delivered 5-7days apart. The ongoing beneficial effects of the treatment will be seen for the next 2-3 months and maximum benefit will be achieved if shockwave therapy is delivered as part of a holistic treatment approach, in conjunction with hands on therapy and exercise rehabilitation.

 

Contraindications?

There are a few instances in which shockwave therapy cannot be applied. Please advise your therapist of any of the following

  • Pregnancy

  • Recent surgery

  • Osteoporosis

  • Bleeding or clotting disorders

  • Pacemaker

  • Tumours at or near to the treatment site

  • Infections

 

Are there any side effects?

Although pain relief from the presenting problem can be immediate, it is common for patients to get some soreness in the hours following treatment, this will usually settle overnight. There can also be some minor bruising and / or swelling in the area although this is rare. These effects can be managed with basic over the counter pain medication and ice application if required.

 

It is also recommended not to take part in any vigorous exercise that involves the treated area for 24-48hours post treatment.

 

For more information on shockwave therapy or to book your session please call today.

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