What is Shockwave Therapy?
Originally used in the medical field of Urology in the 1980s for the treatment of kidney stones, Shockwave has since been found to be useful in orthopedics, physiotherapy, and sports medicine.
Shockwave can be used to stimulate the body’s natural healing process, with positive effects demonstrated on bone and tendon repair as well as tissue regeneration. Treatment can provide some immediate pain relief, whilst also being effective in the promotion of tendon repair by stimulating the growth of new blood vessels into the tissues, promoting growth factors, increasing cell proliferation, decreasing inflammation, and mobilizing stem cells.
How does it work?
Performed by our qualified physios, Shockwave uses a pneumatically powered handpiece that generates radial shockwaves which are transmitted to the site of the injury through a conducting gel. When introduced into the tissue, shock waves have effects on a cellular level that are beneficial for healing. Increased blood flow and the formation of new blood vessels create an improved environment for tissue repair. It has further been shown that the application of shock waves influences the body’s pain regulating mechanisms resulting in local pain relief.
Each session lasts approximately 3-10 minutes and is offered in conjunction with your regular physiotherapy sessions. Evidence has shown that the best outcomes are achieved when Shockwave and exercise therapy are combined.
Will it work for me?
Clinical studies have shown improvement of symptoms in the following conditions:
- Myofascial trigger points – localised tender or painful area
- Plantar Fasciitis – inflamed ligament across the bottom of the foot
- Chronic Tendinopathies – swollen, painful tendons eg:
- Tennis / golfers elbow
- Achilles tendinopathy
- Shoulder tendinopathy & rotator cuff
What are the side effects of Shockwave Therapy?
Side effects could occur after treatment with Shockwave therapy. The majority will appear after 1-2 days and usually abate after 5-10 days.
Potential side effects include:
- Hematoma (bruising)
- Petechia (red spots)
Speak to your therapist before taking any pain relief, medications or tablets.
Contraindications / Precautions
- Disturbed sensory and nervous function, eg. Diabetes
- Corticosteroid injections – wait a minimum of 6 weeks after local injections
Have a chat to your physio to see if Shockwave can help you.