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How does Shockwave Therapy work and what is it?

Radial shockwave therapy is a form of treatment widely used for the management of soft tissue conditions. The technology has been around for some time and has been used in elite sport over the last decade.

Radial shockwaves are high energy acoustic sound waves that are transmitted from a probe held against the skin, into the underlying tissues to help trigger a biological change. This can lead to faster healing and tissue regeneration. The process helps kick-start the healing phase in chronically damaged soft tissues by increasing circulation and breaking down calcified scar tissue to stimulate cellular regeneration and tissue repair. Shockwave therapy also has an analgesic effect by diminishing and inhibiting the transmission of pain signals.

What does a Shockwave Therapy session involve?

Shockwave Therapy involves the transmission of high energy radial soundwaves via a hand piece into the injured and surrounding structures. The initial phase of treatment may cause some discomfort however this indicates the correct targeting of the problem area. This is usually followed by numbness or heaviness in the area and the latter phase of the treatment feels less painful. The treatment is approximately 15-20 minutes in duration and you may receive up to 3000 pulses. During the treatment you may feel some numbness or heaviness but towards the end it can feel less painful.

What kind of conditions can Shockwave Therapy be used to treat?

Where previous conservative management has failed to alleviate symptoms or resolve chronic injuries Shockwave therapy can be used.

Research has shown to support the use of Shockwave Therapy as safe treatment with positive outcomes and has been proven to treat chronic pain and tendinopathy*.

Foot and lower limb injuries and conditions commonly treated with Shockwave include:
• Plantar Fasciitis
• Achilles Tendinopathy
• Patella Tendinopathy
• Shin splints/Shin Pain
• Hamstring Tendinopathy
• Trigger point therapy
• Muscular Tightness
• Some arthritic conditions

How successful is Shockwave Therapy?

The initial phase of treatment may cause some discomfort, this indicates correct targeting of the problem area. This is usually followed by numbness or heaviness in the area so the latter phase of the treatment feels less painful. As Shockwave Therapy can have an analgesic effect, patients may experience a reduction in pain symptoms directly after the treatment. Depending on the condition, healing can take a number of weeks however over 80% of patients report a reduction of pain and regain normal function much sooner.

How many Treatments will I need?

Depending on the condition being managed and how your body responds to the treatment, you may require from 1 to 5 treatments, although the average is 3. Conditions that more chronic or significant in nature are likely to require the longer treatment course.

 

* To read the research available on Radial Shockwave Therapy efficacy click here.