Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy (ESWT)
What is ESWT?
Shockwave therapy is a non-invasive treatment that involves creating a series of low energy acoustic wave pulsations that are directly applied to an injury through a person’s skin via a gel medium.
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 its own treatment for a lingering injury, or pain resulting from illness. You don’t need painkillers with it – the purpose of the therapy is to trigger the body’s own natural healing response. Many people report that their pain is reduced and mobility improved after the first treatment.
How does shockwave therapy work?
Shockwave therapy is used in the treatment of many musculoskeletal conditions, primarily those involving connective tissues such as ligaments and tendons.
Shockwave therapy is most suited for people who have chronic (ie greater than six weeks) tendinopathies (commonly referred to as tendinitis) which haven’t responded to other treatment; these 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.
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.
Shockwave therapy has shown to effectively treat the following conditions:
- Feet – heel spurs, plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendonitis
- Elbow – tennis and golfers elbow
- Shoulder – calcific tendinosis of rotator cuff muscles
- Knee – patellar tendonitis
- Hip – bursitis
- Lower leg – shin splints
- Upper leg – Iliotibial band friction syndrome
- Back pain – lumbar and cervical spine regions and chronic muscular pain
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.
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