What is Shockwave Therapy?
Shockwave therapy directs low-energy sound waves through the skin, which then radiate as ‘shockwaves’ throughout the affected area. These waves interact with the problematic area increasing blood circulation and activating and accelerating the body’s own healing response. They can also break down disorganised tissue and calcifications. The results can be accelerated tissue repair, cell growth, pain relief, and increased mobility.
The therapy has been around for several decades, originally introduced as a non-invasive treatment for kidney stones. But, in recent years, its effectiveness in treating painful soft tissue and joint conditions has been truly recognised.
Painful conditions that have been lingering for several months are prime candidates for shockwave therapy, especially if they haven’t responded to other treatments such as stretching, strengthening exercises, and orthotics.
Is it safe?
There are virtually no side effects to the treatment other than some patients experiencing a level of discomfort during the treatment itself. The treatment only lasts about five minutes, and the intensity can be adjusted if needed. Some tenderness may also be experienced after treatment which generally subsides within 24 hours.
The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) approves the use of shockwave therapy for musculoskeletal pain relief in both clinic and hospital settings in the UK.
If you think shockwave therapy might be right for you, we will take a full medical history from you to assess your suitability as certain situations prohibit its use e.g. pregnancy, or in junction with certain medications and medical treatments.
What does shockwave treat?
Shockwave therapy is beneficial for patients with stubborn pain in their soft tissue (muscle, tendons and ligaments), joints, or certain bones. These may have been caused by either a sports or overuse injury. Tendons and ligaments, in particular, have a relatively poor blood supply and it is common for them to take months, or even years, to improve. Shockwave therapy can really speed up this healing process.
Specific conditions that benefit from shockwave therapy include: