What is Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy (ESWT)
Shockwave therapy is a multidisciplinary device used in orthopaedics, physiotherapy, sports medicine, urology and veterinary medicine. Its main assets are fast pain relief and mobility restoration. Together with being a non-surgical therapy with no need for painkillers makes it an ideal therapy to speed up function, mobility and recovery against various indications causing acute or chronic pain.
Who is Shockwave Therapy suitable for?
Shockwave therapy is a highly effective form of therapy for:
- Plantar Fasciitis
- Shoulder Pain (such as rotator cuff tendinitis/tendinopathy amongst others.)
- Tennis/Golfers Elbow
- Knee Pain (such as Osgood-Schlatter disease and quadricep tendinopathy)
- Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome (or Shin Splints)
- Achilles Tendinopathy
- Trochanteric Bursitis (hip pain)
- Chronic Tendinopathy
This can be a very successful second line of treatment for those that have not responded to conventional manual therapy such as physiotherapy, osteopathy or sports therapy.
Before shockwave therapy is considered, you will have a full clinical assessment.
What happens during shockwave therapy?
Your practitioner will go through with you exactly what area requires treatment and apply a gel to that area in order to initiate the therapy.
The shockwave probe will then be gently pressed onto the area and then shockwaves will be applied through the skin to the targeted damaged tissue. These impulses are transmitted as a ‘shockwave’ that spread inside the injured tissue as a ‘radial’ wave. These waves trigger an inflammatory response within the injured tissue and this prompts the body to then increase blood circulation, number of blood vessels and therefore metabolise the injured tissue. all of which, is the bodies own natural healing mechanisms.
These shockwave impulses can be quite uncomfortable, but are not intended to be painful. The initial session will start with light impulses and will gradually increase throughout your course of treatments.
Shockwave treatments are usually administered in weekly intervals. Each treatment lasts 20-30 minutes and you may need 3 treatments. This can increase to 5 treatments for more persistent issues.
What is the response to shockwave therapy?
As with all forms of therapy, treatments can vary. Some patients respond very well immediately, while others take a few weeks to see improvements.
It is common to see a reddening or swelling in the area and occasional bouts of pain or discomfort. It is suggested to seek a follow-up appointment with your lead therapist 6-8 weeks to oversee your progress.