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Shockwave therapy is the use of high-energy, mechanical, sound waves that travel deep through the bodies tissues to promote healing.
The therapy dates back to 1980, first used to destroy kidney stones, before being introduced into musculoskeletal treatments in the 1990's. It is now much more accessible and affordable for patients than ever and has shown to be incredibly effective when coupled with a good overall management plan of specific conditions.
ESWT aims to re initiate the bodies healing process along with revascularising (creating new blood supply). The power of the waves helps to make sure that tissues are aligned correctly, ultimately creating stronger tissues than those left to heal on their own.
As well as healing, ESWT can also be used on calcific tendinopathies and bone spurs to break down the unwanted build up of bone tissue.
What can it be used for?
Shockwave therapy is currently utilised best for:
- Plantar Fasciitis
- Achilles Tendonitis (Tendonopathy)
- Patellar Tendonitis (jumpers/runners knee)
- Trochanteric pain syndrome (hip tendonitis)
- Tennis/Golfers Elbow
- Calcific Tendonitis of the shoulder
Is Shockwave therapy for me?
Shockwave therapy is a specific treatment for chronic (long term) conditions that have not responded to other forms of therapy (manual therapy, NSAID's, orthotics etc.) and is often an alternative to surgical intervention.
We suggest that:
- you have a diagnosis (or suspect) one of the above conditions
- Have suffered from it for at least 3 months with little to no progress
- Have time to commit to 3-5 weekly sessions.
If you are not sure whether shockwave is for you, don't hesitate to contact us. We will be more than happy to discuss this with you, and if necessarey, point you in the right direction if we do not think that it may be beneficial for you.
Are there any side effects?
- Some patients, depending on the area being treated, may feel some discomfort during the treatment. The equipment can be altered to make the experience as comfortable as possible throughout. There may also be some soreness in the area for 24-48 hours, although this is the norm with most manual therapy.
How may sessions do I need?
This is dependent on the condition being treated and how long you have had it. We usually suggest 3-5 sessions for most conditions but this can be discussed if you are unsure. We offer the initial block of 3 sessions as 1-2 sessions is likely to only give very short term relief, if any. We want you to have the best experience with us and do not believe in wasting your time by having 1 or 2 sessions. We see the best results with 3-5 as a general rule.
How long does it take to work?
Some patient will see some instant relief from treatments, although this is usually short lived. Treatments are cumulative and aim to restart the bodies healing process that is usually dysfunctioning. Treatments are generally offered weekly during the course but effects can continue and improvements can still take place for up to 3 months after treatments.
How successful is it?
Shockwave therapy results are generally very positive. The research that is currently out has shown results of up to 91% of participants becoming completely pain free after a course. This varies by condition. if you are interested in specific numbers for each condition, please do get in touch.
The therapy is often used after other means to improve the pain has failed, such as steroid injections and manual therapy. Shockwave is currently seen as a good, much less invasive, alternative to surgery.