What is Shockwave Therapy?
Its full name is extracorporeal shockwave therapy (ESWT). Extracorporeal simply means outside the body. It is a modality at the cutting edge of physiotherapy treatment. It is developed first to treat kidney stones. Since then, it has been further developed and has proven extremely successful in treating conditions involving tendon inflammation, ligament damage, joint capsules, muscles, and bony injuries. Research has proven shockwave therapy to be one of the most effective treatment in certain chronic conditions that was previously exceedingly difficult to treat.
What does it treat?
One of the conditions that shockwave therapy proved to be successful in treating is tendon inflammation. These include:
- Tennis elbow
- Achilles tendinopathy
- Jumper’s knee
- Aiding rehabilitation
- Other tendinopathy related issues
Shockwave therapy is also great in treating conditions that is related to bony insertions of muscles and ligaments. Such conditions include:
- Heel pain
- Plantar fasciitis
- Shin pain
Shockwave therapy is convenient because it is a non-invasive treatment with minimal to no side effects and risks. It can be done anytime in the clinic and it provides a numbing, pain relieving effect after treatment. Shockwave therapy has been proven to be highly effective in treating chronic conditions by breaking up inflammatory tissues, trigger points, scar tissues, and help stimulate blood flow and collagen production.
There is also research that says shockwave is beneficial in treating cellulites!
Am I a suitable candidate for Shockwave Therapy?
You should seek an assessment from your doctor or physiotherapist before seeking a shockwave therapy treatment. A diagnosis which would indicate the use of shockwave therapy is required before our therapists would recommend this treatment for you.
What should I expect during a Shockwave Therapy treatment?
There is no need for you to prepare anything. Your therapist will ensure that you need the treatment and are ready for the treatment.
How long does it take?
It usually takes 10 – 15 minutes.
Is it painful?
A mild discomfort is expected. Some patients with lower pain tolerance have said that it can be a painful treatment.
Is it effective?
Yes! As we have highlighted, it is one of the only treatments that works for certain chronic conditions. Do note that while ESWT works in treating the symptoms of these conditions, it needs to be complemented by physiotherapy to get rid of the underlying issues in your body’s biomechanics. Things such as collapsed arches or poor hip and knee stability can cause the chronic conditions. And they may come back if the cause is not addressed with physiotherapy.
What will happen during the treatment?
You will feel a strong rapid tapping sensation in the area that is being treated. If the area treated is particularly bony, then it may be a little painful. Most patients tolerate it very well.
Are there any downtime or side effects?
There are no downtimes. You can resume your routine activities immediately. Though rare, there may be some bruising and discomfort after the treatment. You can ice the area if this is the case.
How soon before I see results?
While some patients report improvements immediately after 1 session, up to 6 weekly sessions are required for the full benefits and healing effects of the treatment.