Shockwave therapy is a type of treatment that is applied externally (extracorporeal), creating repetitive low energy pulsations that are directly applied to a specific injury through a person’s skin. The concept and technology originally evolved from the discovery that focused sound waves were capable of breaking down kidney and gallstones. Coincidentally, patients also experienced improvement in muscle and tendon dysfunction as a result of shockwave over the same area. Fast-forward to today and Shockwave therapy is its own treatment for lingering injuries, or pain resulting from illness. Many patients report a reduction in pain and increased mobility as early as the first treatment!
Shockwave therapy is a modality that is becoming more common in clinic practice. Extracorporeal shock wave therapy (ESWT) is used in the treatment of many musculoskeletal conditions, primarily those involving connective tissues such as ligaments and tendons. This therapy has been proven safe and is recommended to be a first choice in treating tendinopothies.
There are some tendon conditions that just don't seem to respond to traditional forms of treatment, and having the option of shockwave therapy allows another effective alternative to tackle these problems. Shockwave therapy is most suited for conditions arising from sport, overuse, or repetitive strain.
Such conditions include:
You will be assessed thoroughly to confirm that you are a candidate for Shockwave therapy. The chiropractor or physiotherapist will ensure you are educated about your condition and what you can do in conjunction with treatment. The provider may assess any other contributing issues such as posture or tightness/weakness of other muscle groups.
Shockwave treatment is usually done every 4-7 days for 3-6 weeks, depending on results.
Shockwave therapy should not be used if there is a circulation or nerve disorder, infection, bone tumor, or a metabolic bone condition. Shockwave therapy should also not be used if there are any open wounds or tumors or during pregnancy. People using blood-thinning medications or who have severe circulatory disorders may also not be eligible for treatment.
After the treatment, you may experience temporary soreness, tenderness or swelling for a few days following the procedure, as the shockwaves stimulate an inflammatory response but this is the body healing itself naturally. Side effects of the treatment include mild discomfort to tissue, but therapy only lasts 4-5 minutes, and the intensity can be adjusted to keep it at a tolerable and comfortable level. It is important not to take any anti-inflammatory medication after treatment since it may slow down the results. Upon completion of your treatment you can return to most regular activities almost immediately.
Contact us today for more details or to see if this therapy is right for you.