What is Shockwave Therapy?
Shockwave therapy utilizes high pressure waves of compressed air to mechanically break up calcification and scar tissue caused by repetitive stress. The technology was founded over 20 years ago for the treatment of kidney stones – today known as lithotripsy – and was adapted in order to be applied to the soft tissues of the body (muscles, tendons, etc). Millions of patients worldwide have benefited from this therapy.
Shockwave offers a non-invasive treatment solution for chronic tendonapathies and other soft tissue disorders. Treatments administered to the affected areas stimulate the regeneration process of injured tissues which have sustained histological changes. Radial pressure wave therapy is best indicated for resilient conditions that have not responded to traditional therapy.
Physiological effects of the shockwave include:
- Increased cell permeability and metabolism, as shockwaves influence the tissues on a cellular level.
- Revascularization effect, where the renewed blood flow promotes tissue healing and regeneration.
- Pain control and reduction (Gate Control theory)
- Reduction of adhesions and fibrotic tissue prohibitive of healing.
- Muscle tone recovery.
The treatment is relatively painless, and has no major side effects. Shockwave therapy provides superior clinical results when compared to traditional conservative care modalities used by physiotherapists and chiropractors. Because of the large number of scientific studies on the efficacy of this treatment, all with inarguably highly beneficial results, Shockwave Therapy is now known as the gold standard in the treatment of many chronic soft tissue disorders.
Is Shockwave Therapy effective?
Thousands of medical research studies have shown shockwave therapy to be between 80-90% effective at treating soft tissue, tendon, heel and joint pain – this includes such chronic, traditionally
difficult-to-treat disorders such as:
- Plantar Fasciitis
- Achilles Tendinopathy
- Trigger Point Therapy
- Jumper’s Knee
- Stress Fractures
- Hallux Rigidus
- Shin Splints
- Tennis Elbow
- Non-Healing Ulcers
- Calcific Rotator Cuff Tendonitis
- Scar Tissue Treatment
- Hamstring Tendinopathy
What is a Shockwave therapy appointment like?
Treatments last up to 30 minutes, depending on the disorder being treated, and are administered once weekly for 3 to 6 visits. Treatment plans will often include other forms of therapy in conjunction with shockwave therapy, such as rehabilitative exercises, additional manual therapy techniques and education.