Shockwave Therapy

Shockwave Therapy (Extracorpeal Shockwave Therapy) is a non-invasive treatment using a handheld device that emits mechanical waves in a form of soundwave- not electrical shocks as many believe.

As the directed ‘shockwaves’ contact the affected tissues the body will respond by increasing the local blood circulation and metabolism in the local area. This in turn accelerates the body’s own healing mechanism and stimulates cell regeneration.

Shockwave Therapy has been used for many years in the treatment of Kidney Stones. 98% of kidney stones are ‘broken up’ using an approach called Lithotripsy. In the 1990s the benefits of treating chronic tendon injuries with the same approach were seen. Since then, Shockwave therapy has been used by Orthopaedic Consultants and rehabilitation specialists for many years. There is a lot of research to support the long-term healing properties of the treatment.

The effectiveness of Shockwave Therapy.

Long term injuries that haven’t responded to normal treatments are often considered for steroid injections or surgery. Shockwave Therapy offers potential where other therapies have failed.

Studies show an overall result rate of 77% of chronic conditions that have not been cured with other kinds of treatment. However it is important to note that although we would expect positive clinical outcomes following a course of treatment, there is a chance that the treatment may not show any improvement. At this stage if your symptoms persist, alternative treatments or even further referral may be advised.

What can Shockwave Therapy be used for?

Shockwave Therapy can be used to treat a wide variety of musculoskeletal conditions, especially chronic conditions, for example:

  • Plantar fasciitis (heel pain)
  • Achilles tendinopathy
  • Tennis/golfer’s elbow
  • Greater Trochanteric Pain Syndrome (outer hip pain)
  • Proximal Hamstring Tendinopathy
  • Shoulder calcific tendinosis
  • Patella tendinopathy (jumper's knee)
  • Medial tibial stress syndrome (shin splints)
  • Frozen shoulder
  • Shoulder impingement (rotator cuff) syndrome

As opposed to traditional surgical techniques, ESWT offers two main advantages: fewer potential complications and a faster return to normal activity. Additional benefits include:

  • No anaesthesia
  • Non invasive
  • No medication
  • No surgery
  • Fast treatment: 30 minutes per session, 3-4 sessions required
  • Fewer complications
  • Virtually painless after treatment
  • Significant clinical benefit often seen 6-8 weeks after treatment

Most patients will respond very well to Shockwave Therapy after 3-4 sessions. Some patient’s however may require more treatments.