Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy (ESWT), or Shockwave (as it is more commonly known), is a non-invasive way of restarting the natural healing process.
Shockwave therapy is a safe, non invasive therapy that is an effective treatment for tendon, muscle or joint disorders. It involves passing short, intense mechanical sound waves (definitely NOT electrical shocks) in to the affected tissues.
It involves sending shockwaves through your skin to influence the affected tissues beneath. A shockwave is purely a mechanical wave, not an electric one.
How Does Shockwave Work?
Shockwave therapy initiates an acute inflammatory process, much like a fresh injury, from which the body can usually repair itself. The body responds by increasing the blood circulation and metabolism in the affected area, which in turn accelerates the body’s own healing processes. So basically, the treatment helps the body go into repair mode and restart its own natural healing process.
Shockwave therapy is clinically proven to provide rapid relief for many problems, even if they have not responded to other treatment options.
Is it safe?
Absolutely - Yes! Shockwave is a very safe treatment and has been clinically proven to help lots of conditions. It has been approved by NICE (National Institute for Clinical Excellence).
Common conditions successfully treated include:
Tennis elbow (lateral epicondylitis)
Golfer's elbow (medial epicondylitis)
Rotator cuff tendinopathy
Shin Splints (medial tibial stress syndrome)
Frozen Shoulder (adhesive capsulitis)
Greater trochanteric pain syndrome (hip pain)
Plus many more….
What Are The Benefits?
Fast, effective pain relief so you can get back to doing the things you love quickly
It is non-invasive
No risk of infection
Approved by NICE (the National Institute of Clinical Excellence)
Approved by medical insurers
What A Happens During Treatment?
One of our expert physiotherapists will undertake a thorough assessment to ensure an accurate diagnosis. This is essential to ascertain that shockwave therapy is the best treatment option for your specific problem.
You will be made comfortable on the treatment couch. A gel will be applied, and the shockwave probe will be positioned over the problem area. When you are ready the shockwaves are pulsed into the tissues. The actual shockwave treatment will last approximately 5 mins.
Does The Treatment Hurt?
Well, I’d be lying if I said No.
Shockwave treatment causes some slight pain (more of a discomfort), but adjustments can be made to the pulses to make it more comfortable.
People who have reported an unsuccessful outcome following Shockwave Therapy usually note that they did not feel anything during treatment. To be effective, you need feel the Shockwaves, and it will be uncomfortable. It’s this discomfort that triggers some of the body’s response to shockwave.
It is a short-term pain for a long-term gain (and a lot less painful than surgery!).
The quality of the machine also effects the comfort of the treatment
At Chiltern Physiotherapy we have the latest, top of the range, Swiss DolorClast Master machine. This is the same machine that is used in the majority of clinical research trials that have been used to formulate the NICE guidelines for Shockwave Therapy provision in the NHS. It provides a reliable, constant energy flow that is more comfortable for the recipient.
What Can I Expect After Treatment?
Shockwave Therapy initiates an inflammatory reaction in the tissues. While you may feel some immediate pain relief, you are likely to feel discomfort 2-4 hours later or the following day. You can take non-prescription painkillers such as paracetamol if you need to. However, do not take any anti-inflammatory medications such as Ibuprofen (e.g. Nurofen), Diclofenac (e.g. Volterol) or Naproxen as these will interfere with the healing process.
Likewise, do not apply ice to the area.
Some transient side effects include skin redness, swelling, haematoma, local red spots (petechiae) and numbness may occur. All of these should resolve in a few days after treatment.
How Many Sessions Will I Need?
Clinical research has shown that 3 sessions is often effective.
Occasionally, sometimes people may need an additional 1-3 sessions.
Why Choose Chiltern Physiotherapy for Your Shockwave Treatment
Expert Chartered Physiotherapists
A correct diagnosis is essential prior to Shockwave application as it is only effective for certain problems. Our physiotherapists take a thorough history and assess your problem to determine if Shockwave Therapy is the most appropriate treatment for your problem. Treating the symptoms in isolation is not the most effective course of action. A combination of Shockwave Therapy with exercise therapy has shown to be more effective than Shockwave Therapy alone.
The biggest problem (and reason for lack of success) with Shockwave Therapy is ‘Operator Error’. Unfortunately anyone can buy a Shockwave machine and advertise themselves as ‘expert shockwave therapists’.
Our Physiotherapists are trained in the Swiss DolorClast Method,
a successful approach based on 3 pillars:
Technology - innovative and reliable devices
Education - practitioner training and shared knowledge
Clinical Proof - Positive clinical outcomes: safe and effective
These 3 elements are essential for successful Shockwave Therapy.
Only a well-trained practitioner equipped with a clinically proven device will heal patients.
If you have any questions or think that shockwave therapy may be the solution to your pain, call us on 01923 283845 or book an appointment online at www.chilternphysiotherapy.co.uk
More information can be found on our website: https://www.chilternphysiotherapy.co.uk/shockwave