Our physiotherapists often include Shockwave therapy as part of a treatment plan. This therapy is getting amazing results in our patients and seeing reduction in pain and accelerated healing.
Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy (ESWT or Shockwave Therapy) uses shockwaves to treat chronic, painful musculoskeletal conditions.
A shockwave is an intense, but very short energy wave traveling faster than the speed of sound. The basic principles behind shock wave therapy are the high pressured acoustic shock waves that travel through the skin to breakdown calcified tissue and stimulate tissue repair. Coupled with ultrasound waves, the healing effect is sped up.
Applications in physiotherapy are mostly associated with the treatment of chronic muscular and tendon disorders, back and cervical pain, and trigger points treatment. Compared to conventional manual and instrumental therapy, SWT can be very effective, shortens the treatment period and brings better results in long term follow-up.
WHAT CONDITIONS DOES SHOCK WAVE THERAPY TREAT?
Shockwave Therapy may be used in the treatment of patients with the following conditions:
Impressive results have been reported in cases that have been hard to manage and failed to respond to conventional treatment regimes and approaches. What sets this treatment apart from traditional treatments is that it treats the musculoskeletal pathology instead of just offering symptomatic relief. It is also the best last resort prior to surgery.
What does it involve? The practitioner will deliver pulses of sound waves to areas of injured body tissue, via a hand-held probe placed on the skin. Some patients have described the shockwave process sounding like a small jackhammer. Depending on the area treated, you should expect to feel some small discomfort but this will resolve within 24 hours.
How many treatments will I need? The therapy usually takes about three to six sessions of 5-10 minutes. Shock Wave therapy is conducted at one weekly intervals. You may experience relief as soon as 10 days after the initial treatment.
What is the evidence? There are a number of trials, including randomized controlled trials, that support the use of Shock Wave Therapy: Rompe et al 2008, Eccentric Loading Compared with Shock Wave treatment for Chronic Insertional AchillesTendinopathy, J Bone Joint Surg Am 2008; 90: 52-61Han et al 2009, Effect of Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy on Cultured Tenocytes, Foot and Ankle International, 30: 93-98Furia et al 2007, Extracorporeal shock wave therapy in the treatment of chronic plantar fasciitis and Achilles tendinopathy, Current Opin Orthop 2007; 18: 101- 111Rompe, JD; Radial Shock Wave Therapy- Where do we stand today?; Translation from Medical Special, Apr 2006
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