Shockwave therapy, also known as Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy (ESWT) is a multidisciplinary device used by podiatrists and other sports physicians with the main benefits being fast pain relief and restoration to function and mobility. It is used for resistant soft tissue injuries that do not respond to conservative treatments such as icing, heat, stretching, strengthening, massage, supportive footwear and orthotics.
ESWT delivers low and high energy shock (acoustic) waves to the injured tissue via a hand-held probe. These non-invasive shockwaves which activate the body’s self healing process to reduce pain by:
Increasing metabolic activity through improved blood circulation and formation of new blood vessels
Accelerates the healing process through cell regeneration
Stimulates nerves to help decrease sensitivity in the area of pain
Break up calcification within tendons which is reabsorbed by body
Has an analgesic and anti-inflammatory effect
Persistent plantar fasciosis (heel pain) and chronic achilles tendonitis are the most well-researched and the most commonly treated conditions with shockwave therapy, however it is used on all chronic tendonitis, muscle trigger points and even for stress fractures.
Until now, treatment for these resistant injuries would normally involve extended periods of complete rest or immobilisation, cortisone injections and possible surgery. Shockwave therapy is now recommended before considering these treatments.
Shockwave therapy is non-invasive, highly-effective, requires no anaesthesia and has no nasty side-effects. It is relatively pain-free and you can return to work straight after your treatment. Depending on your condition you may be able to continue exercising whilst seeking treatment.
In most cases, 4 treatments placed 1-week apart will be required to successfully treat the majority of patients. A reduction in symptoms is often experienced after just 1 visit, however it is important to understand that the healing process continues for up to 6 weeks following the final treatment.