SHOCKWAVE THERAPY

WHAT IS SHOCKWAVE THERAPY?

Radial shockwaves help to support and reset the healing pattern in the affected tissue. Radial shockwave treatment works to increase the metabolic activity around the painful site, which stimulates reabsorption of unwanted calcium deposits in tendons and stimulates the body’s natural healing process, thus reducing pain.

The physical effects of radial pressure waves facilitate:

  • Pain reduction

  • Increased metabolism

  • Revascularization

  • Reduced muscle tone

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WHO CAN BENEFIT?

Radial pressure waves offer a non-invasive treatment solution to long-term soft tissue pathologies. Radial shockwave therapy is an effective alternative for people with chronic pain resulting from soft tissue conditions who have exhausted all other forms of treatment (e.g. electrical modalities, soft tissue treatments, exercises, joint mobilizations, etc.). Because radial shockwave therapy works to stimulate the body’s natural self-healing mechanisms and does not involve the use of drugs, it is well tolerated. Shockwave Therapy is effectively utilized in our clinic for a number of conditions including (but not limited to):​

  • Tendinitis and Tendinosis

  • Plantar Fasciitis

  • Golfer's Elbow (medial epicondylitis)

  • Tennis Elbow (lateral epicondylitis)

  • Rotator Cuff Dysfunctions

  • Jumper's Knee

  • Trigger Points (muscle knots)

THE RESEARCH

Radial pressure wave therapy is a modality that is successfully used by doctors, and health care practitioners in both sport medicine and rehabilitation. The research is continuously progressing with a steadily increasing publication volume. A systematic review of shockwave therapies provides evidence to support the use of shockwave therapy in a number of soft tissue musculoskeletal disorders, including plantar fasciitis, calcific tendonitis, tennis elbow and frozen shoulder. In addition, shockwave therapy has been scientifically proven to be a safe treatment modality.

TREATMENT

Before a treatment with radial pressure waves, a full physical examination should be performed by a physiotherapist.

For optimal treatment, it is important that radial shockwaves be applied to the painful points, followed by activation and smoothing of the surrounding muscles and connective tissues. Depending on the indication, 3-5 sessions in total, at 5-10 day intervals are the most common treatment frequency. Treatment is carried out by passing the shock wave applicator over the painful area. The treatments last approximately five minutes and may be somewhat uncomfortable, but are usually well tolerated. Most people notice significant changes after just one treatment.

SIDE EFFECTS

Side effects can occur after a treatment with Radial pressure wave therapy. The majority will appear after 1-2 days.

Common side effects include:

  • Redness

  • Swelling

  • Pain

  • Bruising

  • Red spots

CONTRAINDICATIONS

Radial shockwave therapy is not appropriate for everyone. It should not be performed in people with the following conditions:

  • Pregnancy: do not use radial pressure wave treatment on any body part during pregnancy.

  • Haemophilia, or other coagulation disorders.

  • Anticoagulant drugs, especially Marcumar

  • Malignancy, tumours.

  • Acute inflammation. Do not use over swollen, inflamed, infected tissue, skin eruptions or on other acute tissue lesions.

  • Thrombosis

  • Polyneuropathy area. Diabetic neuropathy can often result in altered sensory and nervous function in the area of decreased sensation.

  • Cortisone therapy: wait a minimum 6 weeks after local cortisone injection before treatment with radial pressure waves.

  • Over a body part with an metal implant.

  • Active autoimmune diseases.

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