Shockwave

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What is shockwave therapy?
Shockwave therapy or extracorporeal shockwave therapy (ESWT) is an innovative, cost-effective, evidence-based treatment for tendon pain (often known as tendinitis or tendinopathy) and other conditions throughout the body. Extracorporeal means outside of the body.

The main benefits of shockwave are pain relief and restoration of function. Shockwave therapy has been shown to be an effective treatment modality for a range of common tendon complaints including plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendinopathy and tennis elbow.

Shockwave therapy is a safe, non-invasive treatment with convincing evidence for its effectiveness from a large body of research and clinical trials. There are now multiple, randomised, double-blinded clinical trials that support the use of shockwave therapy for plantar fasciitis, lateral epicondylitis, and calcific tendinitis of the shoulder.

What is shockwave therapy used for?
Shockwave therapy is an effective treatment modality for a variety of lower and upper limb conditions. These include:

Calcific tendinopathy

  • Tennis elbow (common extensor tendinopathy)
  • Golfer’s elbow (common flexor tendinopathy)
  • Greater trochanteric pain syndrome (also referred to as gluteus medius tendinopathy and/or trochanteric bursitis)
  • Proximal Hamstring Tendinopathy (also referred to as high hamstring tendinopathy, or hamstring origin tendinopathy)
  • Patella tendinopathy
  • Insertional Achilles tendinopathy
  • Mid-portion Achilles tendinopathy
  • Plantar fasciitis

    How does shockwave therapy work?

  • This is sometimes known as its ‘mechanism of action’. Shockwave therapy uses a specialist device to deliver acoustic energy through the skin to the injured part of the body. The shockwaves are mechanical and not electric. They are audible, low-energy sound waves, which increase the blood flow to the injured area.
  • Shockwave therapy has two main modes of action which will help with persistent tendon pain. First the shockwaves work to desensitize nerve endings which will often give an immediate reduction in pain. Secondly, and often most importantly, the shockwaves cause controlled micro-trauma (microscopic damage) to the tissues which encourages the body to respond by increasing the blood circulation and metabolism in the affected area. This will activate and accelerate the body’s own healing response. The shockwaves can also ‘breakdown’ disorganized tissue and calcifications.

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