If you’ve been struggling with a long-term musculoskeletal problem, Vitalis Physiotherapy might suggest shockwave therapy. We’ve seen excellent results with this convenient, non-invasive technique that has practically no side effects.
Shockwave therapy (also known as extracorporeal shockwave therapy or radial shockwave therapy) is a non-invasive treatment method that promotes natural tissue healing for a range of sub-acute to chronic musculoskeletal disorders that are difficult to heal.
A sub-acute disorder is a relatively recent or changing problem. A chronic problem is something you’ve been living with for a long time, usually with very little change, for example, Achilles tendinopathy or plantar fasciitis.
You may already have received other treatment but the problem is proving persistent. That’s when shockwave therapy may help.
If you and your physiotherapist agree that shockwave therapy is the best treatment option, your physio will smooth some gel over the area to be treated then move a hand-held device slowly around that part of your body. The device uses radial pressure waves to transfer a high dose of energy to the pain region, making some clicking sounds as it operates. The transmitted energy stimulates your body’s natural healing response.
One 5-10 minute session may be enough to reduce pain for many patients while others report notable improvement after approximately 3 treatments.
Shockwave therapy awakens your body’s natural healing response, helping to heal injured tissue rather than just manage painful symptoms.
It may also help to:
- Reduce pain
- Improve your range of motion
- Reduce muscle tightness
- Release painful trigger points
- Improve blood and lymphatic circulation
- Regenerate your cells.
And it’s non-invasive. It helps avoid the need for medication, steroid injections or surgery, which have greater potential side-effects and a longer recovery time. With shockwave therapy, you’re able to return to your normal activities as soon as the treatment session is over.
At Vitalis Physiotherapy, we use shockwave therapy to assist in the treatment of a growing number of conditions including:
- Plantar fasciitis
- Heel spurs
- Achilles tendinopathy
- Patella tendinopathy (jumper’s knee)
- Greater trochanteric pain syndrome
- Calcific tendinopathy of the shoulder
- Tennis and golfer’s elbow
- Finger tenosynovitis (trigger finger)
- Adhesive capsulitis (frozen shoulder)
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Gluteal tendinopathy
- Proximal hamstring tendinopathy
- Other forms of insertional tendinopathy
- Muscle strains
- Calcified haematomas (“corkies”)
- Shin splints
- Osteitis pubis
- Recalcitrant trigger points
- Osgood-Schlatter Disease
After treatment, your body continues its natural healing processes, stimulated by shockwave therapy. We usually advise that you refrain from exercising the treated area for about 48 hours.
As a Vitalis Physiotherapy patient, you’ll be given a personalised program of specific exercises to help your condition. These stretches and exercises help to build your strength and flexibility and reduce the risk of further injury.
You might feel a bit of discomfort, or even a little pain, but this will be quickly over since the treatment only lasts a short time. And we can lessen the intensity of the treatment if you find it too much — please let your Vitalis physio know how you’re feeling.
Some patients report a little soreness in the treated area a few hours afterwards but this usually passes quickly and doesn’t limit your activities. Most patients will experience an immediate pain relief following the treatment.
Only the very mild ones mentioned above. It’s a remarkably convenient treatment with negligible complication rates. That’s especially significant when compared to invasive treatments such as cortisone injections or surgery, which have greater potential side effects and longer recovery times.
We hope so, but there are no guarantees for any kind of medical treatment.
We have seen wonderful results from shockwave therapy in many patients who were struggling with painful conditions that weren’t responding to other treatments.
If you have an injury or condition that’s been bothering you for a while, talk to Vitalis Physiotherapy about whether shockwave therapy could help you.