Extracorporeal shockwave therapy (ESWT) is a treatment for tendon dysfunction in order to reduce pain and restore function in injured tissues.
It is a safe, non invasive, non surgical treatment that works by delivering impulses of energy, targeted to specific damaged tissues within the abnormal tendon. It uses low energy acoustic waves rather than electrical waves.
A probe is pressed on to the affected area and these shockwaves are transmitted through the skin. The impulses are delivered as compressed air that spreads inside the injured tissue as an aspherical ‘radial’ wave. The radial shockwaves initiate an inflammation-like response in the injured tissue that is being treated, and prompts the body to respond naturally by increasing blood circulation, the number of blood vessels and therefore metabolism in the injured tissue.
Micro traumas are created in the symptomatic tissue while at the same time these impulses desensitise the nerve endings, reducing pain. The increase in blood flow within the affected areas stimulate cell regeneration and promote healing, and reducing any muscle hypertension. It can help break down fibrous scar tissue and is especially recommended for chronic, lingering injures.
Shockwave therapy has a large amount of evidence from clinical trials and here at Wandsworth Town Osteopathy we use the latest state of the art technology and machines. Shockwave is reviewed and highly recommend by NICE guidelines (National Institute for Clinical Excellence) NICE provides national guidance and advice to improve health and social care in both NHS and private practice. Studies have shown the benefits of 1 shockwave treatment to be the equivalent of 6-8 massage treatments, so is seen as an excellent cost effective ratio.
Shockwave therapy is completely safe with rare side effects – no more than you may get with a sports massage. The shockwaves are felt as pulses which are a little uncomfortable but not painful. Typically your first treatment will start with a low level of intensity and increase this to a point where you feel comfortable. Mild pain is indicative of healing.
We recommend a minimum of 3 treatments for best results but resilient injuries may need more sessions. It is important to note that multiple follow up rehab sessions of Osteopathy or Sports Massage are necessary to gain the full benefit of the Shockwave Therapy.
A gel medium lotion will be used and you may be asked to dress down to access the skin of the symptomatic area – the treatment will take about 20 minutes for each session.
Injuries shockwave therapy may help with include: golfers elbow, tennis elbow, achillies tendinopathy, plantar facitiis, ITB syndrome, calcific tendonopathies as well as hamstring, hip, shoulder and knee conditions along with chronic back and neck pain. It must be stressed that the best results are with conditions that are chronic (more than 6 months). We wouldn’t recommend using it with acute issues until the use of manual therapy has been exhausted.
You will be assessed on your first consultation before treatment to make sure there are no contraindications to treatment and to be able to diagnose the condition and create a treatment plan. However, please note conditions where you would not be able to receive shockwave therapy include: if you are pregnant, if you are taking antiplatelets or anticoagulant medication, if you have a blood clotting disorder, if you are under 18, if you have been diagnosed with cancer or are being treated for an active cancer, or if you have an of the following in, on or around the symptomatic area: tendon rupture, current infection, metal pins or plates or have had a recent steroid injection.
Shockwave Therapy is used in conjunction as part of a wider Osteopathic treatment. Please book in with Dominic Johnson for Shockwave Therapy.