Shock Wave

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What is shockwave therapy?

Shockwave therapy (extracorporeal shockwave therapy) is an evidence-based treatment for tendon pain (often known as tendinitis or tendinopathy) and other conditions throughout the body. Its main assets are fast pain relief and mobility restoration. Together with being a non-surgical therapy with no need for painkillers makes it an ideal therapy to speed up recovery.

The main benefits of shockwave are pain relief and restoration of function. Shockwave therapy has been shown to be an effective treatment modality for a range of common tendon complaints including plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendinopathy, and tennis elbow.

Shockwave therapy is a safe, non-invasive treatment with convincing evidence for its effectiveness from a large body of research and clinical trials. There are now multiple clinical trials that support the use of shockwave therapy for conditions such as plantar fasciitis, lateral epicondylitis and tendinitis of the shoulder.

How does shockwave therapy work?

This is sometimes known as its ‘mechanism of action’. Shockwave therapy uses a specialist device to deliver acoustic energy through the skin to the injured part of the body. The shockwaves are mechanical and not electric. They are audible, low-energy sound waves, which increase the blood flow to the injured area.

What can shockwave therapy be used for?

Shockwave therapy is an effective treatment for a variety of conditions, including:

  • Calcific tendinopathy
  • Tennis elbow / Golfer’s elbow
  • Trochanteric pain syndrome
  • High hamstring tendinopathy
  • Patella tendinopathy
  • Achilles tendinopathy
  • Plantar fasciitis

Shockwave therapy has two main modes of action to aid recovery and healing. Firstly shockwave helps to desensitise nerve endings thus reducing pain. Secondly, the shockwaves cause controlled micro-trauma (microscopic damage) to the tissues which encourages the body to respond by increasing the circulation and metabolism in the area. This activates and accelerates the body’s own healing responses.

What Does the Research Show?

There is a significant body of evidence supporting the use of shockwave therapy.

The use of shockwave therapy for tendon issues is well supported by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidelines. Studies have shown that shockwave is an effective and successful treatment mode resulting in improved function and increased quality of life.

Shockwave is unsuitable in the following circumstances:

  • Pregnancy
  • Blood clotting disorders (including thrombosis)
  • Anti-coagulants
  • Steroid injection within 6 weeks
  • Pacemaker fitted
  • Tumours present at the treatment site
  • Infection or skin abrasion at the treatment site
  • Under 18 (except in the treatment of Osgood-Schlatter disease)

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Stanford Le Hope,
Essex SS17 0JJ

07711 521233

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