Shockwave uses acoustic soundwave technology which carries high energy to certain spots of the body. The energy promotes regeneration and reparative processes of the bones, tendons and other soft tissues. The purpose of the therapy is to trigger the body’s own natural healing response.
Shockwave is a mechanical and not electric treatment that uses a low-energy sound wave, which works by increasing blood flow to the injured area. This speeds up your body's healing process. You will usually require a course of 3 to 6 treatments, 1 week apart.
You don't need painkillers with it - the purpose of the therapy is to trigger the body's own natural healing response. This process uses non-invasive, low-intensity acoustic waves to cause neovascularization directly to the targeted area. Neovascularization is the formation of new blood vessels.
Shockwave is most suited for people who have chronic tendinopathies (commonly referred to as tendinitis) which haven't responded to other treatments. These treatments include: tennis elbow, achilles, rotator cuff, plantar fasciitis, jumpers knee, calcific tendinitis of the shoulder. These could be as a result of sport, overuse, or repetitive strain.
You will be assessed by the technician at your first visit to confirm that you are an appropriate candidate for shockwave. The technician will ensure that you are educated about the process and what you can do in conjunction with treatment - activity modification, assessing any other contributing issues such as posture, tightness/weakness of other muscle groups etc. Shockwave treatment is usually done once a week for 3-6 weeks, depending on results. The treatment itself can cause mild discomfort, but it only last 4-5 minutes, and the intensity can be adjusted to keep it comfortable.
After the treatment, you may experience temporary soreness, tenderness or swelling for a few days following the procedure, as the shockwaves stimulate an inflammatory response. But this is the body healing itself naturally. So, it’s important not to take any anti-inflammatory medication after treatment, which may slow down the results.
Upon completion of your treatment you can return to most regular activities almost immediately.
Shockwave is a non-invasive treatment that involves creating a series of low energy acoustic wave pulsations that are directly applied through a person’s skin. The concept and technology originally evolved from the discovery that focused sound waves were capable of breaking down kidney and gallstones.
Generated shockwaves have proven successful in a number of scientific studies for the treatment of chronic conditions.
Shockwave therapy is a modern and highly effective treatment option in orthopaedic and rehabilitation medicine. The term shockwave refers to mechanical pressure pulses that expand as a wave in the body. In modern pain therapy, shockwave energy is conducted from the point of origin to the painful body regions, where it applies its healing capacities.
Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy (ESWT) was first introduced into clinical practice back in 1980 as a treatment for non-invasive lithotripsy. However, in the last two decades, it has been used as a method for musculoskeletal disorders and the stimulation of bone growth. Thus, the shock waves are used for the treatment of various orthopedic conditions including plantar fasciitis, shoulder tendinopathy, elbow tendinopathy, patellar tendinopathy and Achilles tendinopathy.
Recently, shockwave treatment has been extended to treat other conditions, including femoral head necrosis, patellar knee jaw, osteochondritis and calcified shoulder tendonitis.
Shock waves are high energy sound waves produced under water with a high voltage explosion and evaporation. In the case of lithotripsy, shock waves are used to dissolve nephrolithiasis while in orthopedic cases they are used to induce neovascularisation at the junction of the tendon-bone and the release of growth factors such as eNOS (endothelial nitric oxide synthase), VEGF (vascular endothelial growth factor) and PCNA (proliferating cell antinuclear antigen).
Subsequently, these lead to the improvement of the blood supply and to an increase in cell proliferation and ultimately to the tissue regeneration of tendons and bones for tissue repair.
Shockwave treatment is a relatively new non-invasive therapeutic intervention, without the dangers of a surgical procedure and postoperative pain.