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Shockwave Therapy

What is Shockwave Therapy?

Shockwave Therapy (also known as extracorporeal shockwave therapy or radial shockwave therapy) is a multidisciplinary devise 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 recovery and cure various indications causing acute or chronic pain.

Is it painful?

Shockwave therapy is a  non-invasive, non-surgical treatment but you might feel a little pain or discomfort in the treatment area during the procedure. Most patients say it feels like small pulses against the skin.

Is Shockwave therapy Effective?

Shockwave therapy is an effective modality in relieving pain intensity and increase the functionality and quality of life in various tendinopathies such as plantar fasciitis, elbow tendinopathy, Achilles tendinopathy and rotator cuff tendinopathy.

How does shockwave therapy work?

Shockwave therapy is an acoustic wave which carries high energy to painful spots and myoskeletal tissues with sub-acute, sub-chronic and chronic conditions. The energy promotes regeneration and reparative processes of the bones, tendons and other soft tissues.

Shockwaves are characterized by jump change in pressure, high amplitude and non-periodicity. 

The kinetic energy of the projectile, created by compressed air, is transferred to the transmitter at the end of the applicator and further into the tissue. 

What are the steps in the treatment?

Shockwave therapy is a non-invasive treatment.

The application is simple and easy.

Initiate therapy in 3 steps:

 

FIRST STEP

Location of the area to be treated

The area to be treated is located using palpation in order to deliver the therapy precisely.

SECOND STEP

Gel Application

Sufficient amount of gel is applied to the area located in Step 1.

Use of shockwave therapy gel is required to transfer the acoustic waves efficiently and  smoothly.

 

THIRD STEP

Therapy Initiation

The shockwave applicator is slightly pushed against the area to be treated and the start button is pressed.

 

  • that braces have the most effect in children whose bones are still growing.

What are the side effects of shockwave therapy?

Side effects are limited to mild bruising, swelling, pain, numbness or tingling in the treated area and the recovery is minimal compared with that if surgical intervention.

Most patients take a day or two off after treatment but do not require a prolonged recovery  period.

Shockwave therapy is used on many individuals but it is not recommended for:

  • Pregnant women
  • Patients with acute inflammation
  • Patients who have had corticosteroid injections in the last six weeks
  • Patients on high dose anticoagulant therapy (blood-thinning medicines like Warfarin)
  • Patients with cancer

What should you not do after shockwave therapy

Your body responds by increasing the metabolic activity around the impacted area which in turn stimulates and accelerated the body’s own healing mechanisms. Therefore, do not use anti-inflammatory medication or cold therapy as this will interfere with the body’s self-healing processes.

However, you should be able to continue your usual activities following shockwave treatment. You  should avoid any strenuous exercises or impact such as running for the first 48 hours. 

However, it is important to continue with the exercises given to you by the physiotherapist such as stretching your plantar fascilitised for:

  • Pregnant women
  • Patients with acute inflammation
  • Patients who have had corticosteroid injections in the last six weeks
  • Patients on high dose anticoagulant therapy (blood-thinning medicines like Warfarin)
  • Patients with cancer

What conditions can shockwave therapy treat?

Shockwave therapy has shown to be treated effectively on the following conditions as follows;

  • Feet – heel spurs, heel pain, plantar fasciitis, achilles tendonitis​
  • Elbow – lateral epicondylitis (tennis elbow) and golfers elbow
  • Chronic neck dysfunction
  • Shoulder – calcific tendinosis of rotator cuff muscles
  • Knee – patellar tendonitis
  • Hip – bursitis
  • Lower Leg – shin splints
  • Upper Leg – illiotibial band friction syndrome
  • Back Pain – lumbar and cervical spine regions and chronic muscular pain

What are the benefits of shockwave therapy treatment?

Shockwave therapy awakens your body’s natural healing response, helping to heal injured tissue rather than just manage painful symptoms.

It may also help to:

  • Reduce pain
  • Improve range of motion
  • Reduce muscle tightness
  • Release painful trigger points
  • Improve blood and lymphatic circulation
  • Regenerate your cells

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