What is Shockwave Therapy?
Extracorporeal “Shockwave” Therapy (EWST) is a highly effective, non-invasive therapy that is being used to treat a variety of soft tissue and tendon injuries (tendinopathies). This non-surgical treatment has no side effects and promotes accelerated recovery of soft tissue and tendon injuries, bone, heel, and joint pain.
How Does Shockwave Therapy Work?
When used in the management of orthopaedic conditions, shockwave is thought to have two main effects – mechanical (such as breaking up calcification) and biological (causing changes in cell behavior). Shockwave energy is ultimately absorbed by tissue, where it induces physical changes in tissue and/or changes in cellular function leading to the destruction of calcifications, pain relief, and tissue regeneration and remodeling of the tendon, a response leading to stimulation of healing process.
What Conditions Does Shockwave Therapy Treat?
Shockwave Therapy can be used to treat a variety of musculoskeletal conditions, but is primarily used in effectively treating “tendinopathies”. Research studies report a range of 70 to 95 percent success rate in treating the following common conditions:
- Plantar fasciitis with or without Heel Spur
- Achilles tendonitis/tendinopathy
- Medial or Lateral Epicondylitis – Golfer’s or Tennis Elbow
- Patellar tendonitis – Jumper’s Knee
- Rotator Cuff (Shoulder) Tendonitis – with or without Calcifications
- Greater Trochanter Pain Syndrome – Hip Pain
- Adductor or Hamstring Tendinopathies.
Is Shockwave Therapy Painful?
Some discomfort during treatment may be experienced but the pain should ben tolerable. Due to the analgesic effect of Shockwave Therapy many patients report immediate pain relief following treatment.
How many sessions are needed?
The number of treatment sessions will vary depending on the condition being treated. As a general rule, 4-6 treatment sessions are advised. As the treatments are encouraging the body to heal itself, your body will continue the healing process for 2-3 months after treatments have stopped.
How Successful are the treatments?
Statistics vary based on the condition being treated – varying from a 60-90%success rate. Studies have shown 90% of patients with Achilles Tendonitis or Heel Pain will experience a full recovery or significant reduction in their pain. The effects of the treatments can be maximized using Shockwave Therapy and Exercise Therapy in combination.
What to Expect from Your Appointment?
Shockwave sessions are short (usually 15-20 minutes) in duration. Tissue healing and pain relief typically begin within 72 hours of following your treatment. Full resolution of the condition usually occurs within three to five treatments, with a maximum of six sessions required to treat most conditions. Once the desired pain relief is achieved, patients are encouraged to continue with the home exercise program to help promote maximum recovery and prevent reoccurrence.