What is Shockwave Therapy?

Shockwave Therapy is used to treat ongoing tendon conditions such as Tennis elbow or Achilles tendinopathy. During treatment, a shockwave initiates an inflammatory response within the tissue. The body responds by increasing its blood flow and metabolism – helping to enhance the body’s healing capacity. Shockwaves have been shown to break down injured  tissue and calcification within the tissue being treated.

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What is involved in Shockwave Treatment?

Shockwaves are delivered to the injured tissue via a handpiece held by the clinician. It is non- invasive and no anaesthetic is required. Shockwave treatment will normally be delivered over 3 sessions – each lasting up to 15 minutes with ideally 1 week between each session. Shockwave always works best as a combination of treatment, and it is vital for any underlying bio-mechanical issues to be addressed at the same time; this may involve Gait Analysis and Rehabilitation.

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What common conditions can be treated with Shockwave Therapy?

  • Plantar fasciitis
  • Achilles tendinopathy
  • Medial tibial stress syndrome (shin splints)
  • Patella tendinopathy
  • Hamstring tendinopathy
  • Greater trochanteric syndrome (hip pain)
  • Tennis elbow
  • Golfers elbow
  • Calcified shoulder tendinopathy

If you aren’t certain as to whether you have one of the above conditions, our Physiotherapy team can help you identify the cause of your pain and provide information on the best course of treatment.

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What is the success rate of Shockwave Therapy?

Clinical evidence shows an overall success rate of 77% for long term conditions that have not resolved with other treatments. Whilst we expect great results from this treatment,  there is a chance that the treatment may not improve your symptoms, so a review at 6 and 12 weeks post-treatment is recommended. If at this stage your symptoms have not resolved, you will be advised on alternative treatment options or your clinician may recommend diagnostic tests to understand why your pain hasn’t resolved.

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Is the Shockwave treatment painful?

The inherent nature of Shockwave means there will be some discomfort during treatment. However, most people can manage their treatment session without any issues and continue with their normal activities immediately afterwards. In most cases you will experience a reduced pain level immediately after treatment which can last for up to 48 hours. However, in some cases you may experience some discomfort, and if so your therapist will be able to advise you on the best way to manage this. It is important that you do not start taking anti-inflammatory medication as this may interfere with the effectiveness of your treatment.

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What shall I do if I am in pain after the Shockwave treatment?

If necessary, you can take over-the-counter pain killers. It is important that you do not take anti-inflammatory medication as this may interfere with the effectiveness of the shockwave treatment. Our Physiotherapy team will also be available 6 days a week should you need any support or advice during this time.

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What precautions should I be aware of?

  • Cortisone injections are not to be carried out within the last 12 weeks prior to Shockwave Therapy treatment
  • You may experience minor bruising and swelling
  • If you take warfarin or other anticoagulant therapy, please notify your clinician before having treatment
  • If you have a cardiac pacemaker, please notify your clinician prior to treatment as Shockwave Therapy may interfere with this
  • If you have been diagnosed with cancer or are pregnant, please notify your clinician as treatment should not be carried out

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