Shockwave Therapy

Shockwave Therapy (SWT) is a non-surgical treatment option. It has been shown to be a highly effective treatment for patients who have failed to respond to conservative manual therapies. The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has received numerous clinical studies and has endorsed its effectiveness, showing success in over 75% of cases.

One of the strongest arguments for the use of shockwave in therapy is that it effectively takes the affected issue from a chronic state to an acute one. This provides a stimulant or trigger to a ‘stalled’ repair sequence.

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How does it work?


A shockwave is a high intensity sound wave that passes through the body and is not an electrical pulse. The shockwave stimulates the cells that generate soft tissue and bone. Treatment initiates a pro inflammatory response in the tissue where the shockwaves have been applied. The body responds by increasing the blood circulation, collagen production, dissolving calcium build up, increasing metabolism and promoting the release of pain inhibiting and inflammatory substances which are required for the healing process.

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Is Shockwave treatment painful?

 

Shockwave can be painful during its application However, your physiotherapist will work with you to determine your pain tolerance and adjust the treatment accordingly. Generally, we attempt to use the Shockwave on a high power setting which has been shown to provide effective and immediate pain-relief post-treatment. The good news is that the shockwave pulses are delivered within 5-10 minutes so it is quite a quick treatment.

How many sessions do I need?

A full assessment will be taken by your physiotherapist before you start treatment. On average, patients attend 3-6 sessions - 3 within 7-10 days of each other and potential further top-ups for maximum benefit if required.

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Shockwave Therapy, in conjunction with an appropriately prescribed exercise programme, has been shown to help with the following conditions:

  • Achilles Tendinopathy

  • Biceps Tendinopathy

  • Plantar Fasciitis

  • Calcific Tendonitis & Bursitis of the Shoulder

  • Supraspinatus Tendinopathy

  • Patellar Tendinopathy

  • Stress Fractures

  • Greater Trochanter Pain at the Hip

  • Trigger Point Treatment

  • Cellulite

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What are the benefits of shockwave therapy?

  • Non-invasive – no medication

  • Reduces need for steroid injections and surgery

  • Transient analgesic effect after treatment

  • Clinical results range between 70- 90% successful, depending on the condition being treated

  • Best non-invasive treatment option if all other conservative treatment has failed

  • The effects of shockwave therapy are enhanced by rehabilitation

How quickly will I see results?

Although there may be some immediate pain relief, it is important to remember that this does not mean the injury or condition is fully healed. Shockwave works best as part of a rehabilitation and treatment plan which may include other exercises or changes to help manage your condition. It is important to review progress regularly with your physiotherapist to ensure long-term results. Improvements should be noted at 4-6 weeks and the full benefits of treatment may take 12 weeks.

 

If you have any questions regarding ESWT or wish to book an appointment please call us to discuss.