Shock wave therapy, also known as Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy (ESWT), is a clinically proven and highly effective treatment for chronic soft tissue injuries and certain bone conditions.
An extracorporeal shockwave is defined as a non-evasive, non-electrical high energy sound wave that passes through the body via a hand-held probe. The shock waves produce a rapid increase in blood circulation to the target area and will break down fibrous scar tissue which builds up over time, especially with chronic conditions.
The break-down of scar tissue is the key to why shock wave therapy is so effective. Unlike normal elasticated tissue, scar tissue is non-elastic and will prevent normal movement and function, thereby weakening the unaffected tissue surrounding it, often causing further damage and pain. By increasing circulation and breaking-down scar tissue, shock wave therapy will stimulate cell regeneration and promote normal healing and rapid reduction of pain. Normal function can then be restored.
What does Shock Wave Therapy treat?
Shock wave therapy can be effective on a wide range of soft tissue and bony conditions. Here are some examples of conditions where shock wave has effectively treated and restored normal function:
- Plantar fasciitis
- Shoulder pain, e.g. calcific lesions of the rotator cuff and bony spurs
- Lateral epicondylitis (tennis elbow)
- Medial epicondylitis (golfer‘s elbow)
- Patellar tendonitis (jumper‘s knee)
- Tibial stress syndrome (shin pain)
- Achilles tendonitis
- Hip pain
- Heel pain, heel spurs
- Chronic neck dysfunction
How successful is Shock Wave Therapy?
After only 3 or 4 treatments with shock wave, over 80% of patients report a reduction of pain and regaining of normal function.
Research is steadily growing for this cutting-edge technology, and the latest reports are confirming Shock Wave Therapy is an effective treatment of soft tissue injuries, pain and certain bony conditions like heel spurs.
When investing in advanced technology like Shockwave Therapy, it is important to ensure the accuracy and reliability of the equipment, as well having the backing of evidenced based research
Are there contraindications for Shock Wave Therapy?
There are a few occasions when shockwave should not be used:
- Pregnancy or trying to conceive
- Application over open growth plates – not suitable for under 18 years.
- Over metal pins or plates
- Malignant tumours
- Nerve or circulation disorders
- If the patient is taking anticoagulants