What is shockwave therapy?
Shockwave therapy or extracorporeal shockwave therapy (ESWT) is a non-invasive, evidence-based treatment for chronic soft tissue conditions such as tendinopathies and plantar fasciitis. The main benefits of shockwave therapy are:
- Pain relief
- Restoration of function
As part of our unique Injury Clinic approach, you will also be prescribed an evidence-based gradual ‘loading’ exercise regime alongside your course of shockwave treatment. You must follow this plan to get the most out of your treatment and reduce the risk of future recurrence.
How does shockwave therapy work?
Shockwave therapy works by delivering impulses of high energy sound waves that stimulate an inflammatory-like response in the tissues being treated. The body then responds by increasing blood flow and metabolism in the injured area to kickstart the bodies ‘stalled’ healing response, reduce pain and accelerate recovery.
Studies have shown success rates of 70-95% for a range of conditions, leading to shockwave therapy being recommended by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) and used as a safe alternative to injections and surgery for many longstanding and difficult to heal injuries.
What musculoskeletal problems does shockwave therapy treat?
There is a significant body of evidence supporting the use of shockwave therapy as an effective treatment modality for a variety of lower and upper limb conditions. These include:
How much does shockwave therapy cost?
Individual shockwave sessions are £115.
A membership package of 6 sessions including physiotherapy treatment is £599.
An initial consultation is usually needed to determine the suitability of shockwave therapy for your condition.
What are the risks of shockwave therapy?
Shockwave therapy is a safe treatment; you may notice some mild side effects such as swelling or reddening of the treated area and in a few cases a brief increase in symptoms can be felt temporarily following treatment.
How long does shockwave therapy last?
Shockwave treatment takes around 15-20 minutes but please allow up to 30 minutes for each appointment. Treatments are typically performed at weekly intervals with most conditions responding well within 4-6 treatment sessions.
How should I prepare for shockwave treatment?
It is important that you refrain from taking any anti-inflammatory medications prior to commencing your shockwave treatment and refrain from any activities that aggravate your symptoms on the day of your treatment.
What can I expect after the shockwave treatment?
Some clients feel symptom improvement immediately, while for others it may take weeks. After shockwave therapy, use non-prescription painkillers like Paracetamol if needed, avoid anti-inflammatory meds, ice, and gradually resume activity as guided by your physiotherapist.
Who shouldn’t have shockwave therapy?
Shockwave therapy is not suitable during pregnancy and is contraindicated for individuals with a:
- Bone cancer
- History of tendon/ligament rupture
- Blood clotting disorder
- Steroid injection in the past 12 weeks
- Skin damage or irritation at the site of treatment
- Taking antiplatelet medication (aspirin, clopidogrel)
- Taking anticoagulants (warfarin, rivaroxaban)
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