What is Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy (ESWT)?
Shockwave therapy is an effective and safe non-invasive treatment option for tendon and other pathologies of the musculoskeletal system. [i]
How does it work?
Shockwave therapy uses a pneumatically powered handpiece that generate low frequency radial shockwaves at the tip of the device, which are transmitted to the site of the injury through a conducting gel.
What are the benefits of shockwave therapy?
Shockwave therapy has shown to help neovascularisation, which in turn may play a role in the improvement of blood supply and healing of tendon. Studies also revealed that ESWT produces a regenerative and tissue-repairing effect in musculoskeletal tissues, therefore help increase your healing time and reduce pain. [ii]
What condition can ESWT help with?
- Plantar Fasciitis
- Tennis/golfers elbow
- Achilles tendinopathy
- Patellar tendinopathy
- Shin splints
- Gluteal tendinopathy
- Rotator cuff injuries
- Chronic muscular strain
Is it Safe?
Although shockwave therapy is proven to be a safe non-invasive treatment option, it may not be appropriate for the patients with these following conditions:
- Pregnant, or trying to conceive
- Taking blood thinning medications or have blood coagulation disorders
- Open wound or acute inflammation on the treatment area
- Growth or tumour in the treatment area
How many sessions do I need?
Current research suggests 1-5 treatments with a weekly interval between treatment, however our Osteopath will discuss your treatment timeframes with you, in accordance to your injury and need. Most patients get relief after 3 sessions of shockwave therapy.
What to expect after ESWT?
You may feel some local soreness or tenderness post treatment. In that case, icing can be used as a local analgesic. There may also be local minor bruising and you should refrain from strenuous activities for 2-3 days after treatment.
[i] Schmitz, C., Császár, N. B., Milz, S., Schieker, M., Maffulli, N., Rompe, J. D., & Furia, J. P. (2015). Efficacy and safety of extracorporeal shock wave therapy for orthopedic conditions: a systematic review on studies listed in the PEDro database. British medical bulletin, 116(1), 115–138. doi:10.1093/bmb/ldv047
[ii] Notarnicola, A., & Moretti, B. (2012). The biological effects of extracorporeal shock wave therapy (eswt) on tendon tissue. Muscles, ligaments and tendons journal, 2(1), 33–37.