What is Shockwave?
Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy (ESWT) is a non-invasive form of therapy designed to assist patients suffering from a range of chronic conditions such as Plantar Fasciitis and Achilles Tendinopathy that are notoriously difficult to resolve.
Shockwave treatment was originally developed to treat kidney stones (renal calculi) and is now used for many chronic conditions affecting the body from elbow pain to Achilles pain.
It is used to cause microscopic interstitial and extracellular biological effects which include tissue regeneration.
How does it work?
Shockwaves are acoustic waves with an extremely high energy peak like ones which occur in the atmosphere after an explosive event such as a lightning strike. A shockwave differs from ultrasound by its extremely large pressure amplitude, as well as the fact that a shockwave is a single pulse.
During Shockwave therapy, a high-intensity sound wave interacts with the tissues of the body. This leads to a cascade of beneficial effects such as neovascularisation ingrowth, reversal of chronic inflammation, stimulation of collagen and dissolution of calcium build-up. Stimulation of these biological mechanisms creates an optimal healing environment. As the injured area is returned to normal, functionality is restored and pain is relieved.
What can Shockwave treat?
Shockwave Therapy has support from several clinical research trials which have been found to be beneficial for patients with the following conditions:
- Plantar Fasciitis/heel spur (calcaneal spur)
- Achilles tendinopathy
- Gluteal tendinopathy
- Proximal hamstring tendinopathy
- Calcific tendonitis of the shoulder
- Patella tendinopathy
- Tennis elbow (lateral epicondylitis)
- Other forms of insertional tendinopathy
- Other musculoskeletal problems:
- Muscle strains
- Calcified Haematomas
- Shin splints
- Recalcitrant trigger points
- Osgood Schlatter Disease
The difference with Shockwave therapy compared to other conventional non-invasive treatment is that it treats the musculoskeletal pathology rather than just relieving symptoms.
What should I expect with a Shockwave Therapy consultation?
The practitioner will pass the shockwave applicator over the injured area for a period of 10-15 minutes.
While the stimulation may produce some discomfort, patients often feel immediate reduction of pain in the first 24 hours after treatment.
Patients will be required to undergo between 5-10 sessions to achieve full resolvement of injury.
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