Shockwave works by delivering impulses of energy, the shock waves initiate an inflammatory response which in turn will lead the body to respond by increasing the blood flow to the area, stimulating cell regeneration and healing.
It has been shown to provide positive long term results, especially in chronic pain that has not responded to other treatment methods.
The treatment was developed in the 1980s when it was initially used to treat kidney stones - further research and development led to it being used for soft tissue problems. NICE (National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence) has given it full guidance for use in plantar fasciitis, achilles tendinopathy and tennis elbow.
Does it hurt? - you feel a series of rapid 'pulses' which most patients say is uncomfortable and a few say it is painful - your Physiotherapist can build up the strength of the pulses so that you get accustomed to it.
Some patients experience swelling and a temporary increase in pain after the treatment.
How long does a session last? - the initial appointment has to include a routine physiotherapy assessment to ensure this is the right treatment for you and to make sure there are no contra-indications to treatment. Therefore this can take up to an hour.
Follow up sessions are about 10-15 minutes
How many sessions will I need? - a course of treatment can be anywhere from 3- 6 sessions, depending on the condition and they are carried out between 7 - 14 days apart again depending on what the condition is.
A course of treatment can take 6-8 weeks, but most patients experience some improvement straight away.
The point to remember is that you have had the problem a long time and often not responded to other treatments, so it is worth being patient to see long term results.
Is it covered under my insurance? - because it is under NICE guidance, many insurance companies will cover this as a treatment - but you must discuss this with them prior to starting treatment.
Where can I get more information? - www.shockwavetherapy.education provides excellent information, for technical info see www.electrotherapy.org. There are also some some videos on YouTube.com
If you would like to discuss whether Shockwave therapy is for you, please feel free to contact us via our contact page or telephone