Shockwave Therapy : Fast and Effective Physiotherapy Treatment
The use of shock waves, referred to as Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy (ESWT), is an established, successful treatment for plantar fasciitis and most tendon disorders, including tendinopathies of achilles, hamstring, patellar, gluteal, and tennis elbow.
In treating injured soft tissues , especially tendons and plantar fascia when a chronic non-healing state is reached by an injury, the most safe, non-invasive, yet effective treatment is Shockwave Therapy. It is clinically proven to cause metabolic reactions as an efficient alternative to surgery or steroid and other drug injections.
By provoking an acute healing period and by activating enzymes involved in pain relief, it stimulates the healing process. This has resulted in a high rate of success in the care of these hard to treat, frequently chronic and very painful injuries.
Shockwave Therapy Definition
Shockwave therapy , also known as Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy (ESWT), is scientifically validated and highly successful treatment for chronic soft tissue injuries and some bone problems.
A non-evasive, non-electrical high-energy sound wave that passes through the body through a hand-held probe is known as an extracorporeal shockwave. A rapid increase in the supply of blood to the target area is caused by the shock waves and breaks down fibrous scar tissue that, particularly with chronic conditions, builds up over time.
The scar tissue break-down is the secret to why shock wave therapy is so successful. Scar tissue is non-elastic, unlike normal elasticated tissue, and can impede normal movement and function, thus undermining the surrounding untouched tissue, often causing more damage and pain. Shockwave therapy can promote cell growth by increasing circulation and breaking down scar tissue and encouraging normal healing and rapid pain relief. The usual function may be restored afterward.
Shockwave Therapy Process
When the physiotherapist has decided where the complaint originates, and that the right treatment technique to be used is shockwave therapy, some gel is added to the sore area. Then it uses the Shockwave system. A fast-moving projectile powered by a compressor is present in the handpiece. To produce the radial shockwaves, this projectile transmits energy to the applicator that the body then propagates and absorbs. It is possible to change the strength and strength of the waves.
Partly through the processing of substance P and the hyperstimulation of pain receptors, the shockwaves minimize pain. The body regenerates the infected tissues itself, which results in the following effects:
- Improved flow and neovascularization of blood
- Increased reasons for growth
- More stem mesenchymal cells
- Metabolism stimulation
- Calcification and fibrosis may also be minimized by shockwave therapy
The therapy is short term, although some sensitivity may be encountered by patients. The benefit is that the procedure lasts for about 8 to 10 minutes. During the practice of treatment, shockwave therapy is often paired with preparation, physical therapy or other physiotherapy methods, and/or activities that the patient is provided to perform at home.
The Different Illnesses that Shockwave Therapy Treats
In a broad range of soft tissue and bony conditions, shockwave therapy may be successful.
Here are several examples of conditions where normal function has been successfully treated and restored by shockwave therapy:
- Plantar fasciitis
- Shoulder pain, e.g. calcific lesions of the rotator cuff and bony spurs
- Lateral epicondylitis (tennis elbow)
- Medial epicondylitis (golfer‘s elbow)
- Patellar tendonitis (jumper‘s knee)
- Tibial stress syndrome (shin pain)
- Achilles tendonitis
- Pressure in the hip
- Pressure in the ankle, ankle spurs
- Recurrent Neck Dysfunction
Patient Benefits from Shockwave Therapy
For patients who have also suffered from chronic complaints for many years, shockwave therapy has several advantages. As it is less intrusive, less stressful and more concentrated on the body's self-healing qualities, it provides a strong and practical alternative to pain killing medicine and (major) surgery.
The advantages that shockwave therapy provides include:
- Realistic alternative to medicine or surgery
- Treating the cause, not the signs,
- Success rate of 80 percent
- 6-8 therapy sessions needed, on average,
- Per session, quick treatment (8-10 minutes)
- Few side-effects with just a minimal chance of redness or swelling
- Sometimes, in only a few days, pain relief and recovery
- For many concerns, a safe and clinically validated method of treatment
The Shockwave Therapy Treatment Provided by Evergreen Rehab and Wellness Physiotherapy
As experienced physiotherapists for the treatment of common musculoskeletal disorders, we are licensed providers of shockwave therapy. To establish if shockwave therapy is an effective intervention, a complete clinical examination of your condition is required. A course of shockwave therapy is usually three sessions, each separated by a week, along with instructions on management and recovery exercises, if necessary.
During any part of the therapy procedure, you will not need any sedation or anaesthetic and each session will be completed at our physiotherapy clinic in Coquitlam. To the area in pain, we initially apply a contact gel. The shockwave treatment head is then applied to the affected region and relocated over it. Shockwaves are then absorbed through the damaged tissue via the skin. The effect of these shockwaves is to cause your body to react to this regulated trauma by increasing the circulation of blood and stimulating the activation of stem cells and the development of enzymes in the wounded tissue, facilitating and speeding up healing and reducing pain.
At Evergreen Physiotherapy, we have the highest performing EMS Swiss Dolorclast Master shockwave unit. This is a very high specification product that is based on much of the scientific evidence that supports shockwave therapy. The system is pre-calibrated to treat all the conditions for which shockwave therapy is ideal and can also be manually modified during treatment for improved comfort.
Many individuals report an immediate change in symptoms following shockwave therapy with pain relief and increased mobility in the affected region. However, it is necessary to rest the injured area for 24 hours before and after treatment and then to proceed with the recovery exercises you have prescribed. For the optimal results to be obtained from the final treatment with continuing exercises, it can take six to ten weeks.
Want to book an appointment at Evergreen Rehab and Wellness Clinic? Call us at 604-449-5859 to find the best solution. We will help you to enjoy a painless and healthy lifestyle.
Frequently Asked Questions
Various inadequate forms of therapies have been used for most people with chronic pain conditions. Up to 80% of the same patients globally say that they have been helped to remove their problem through Shockwave therapy.
The feeling of discomfort may vary depending on the level of pain the patient already encounters in the region during the treatment. However, because the procedure lasts just about five minutes, this pain can be endured by most patients. Additionally, during the session, the duration of the procedure can be changed.
Depending on the indication and tissue reaction, the number of treatments varies. The effect of the treatment is cumulative, so more than one (3-5) treatment is usually needed. However, most often, right after the first injection, you will feel relief.
Most indications need 3-5 treatments that, depending on the tolerance of the patient and their tissue response, are performed 3-10 days apart.
Following treatment, most patients will receive significant pain relief. However, they can feel some soreness in the treated area within 2–4 hours after the procedure. This soreness is stated to be tolerable and not restricting.
There are a variety of times when shockwave treatment should not be used:
- When pregnant or attempting to conceive
- Not suitable for less than 18 years, for application over open growth plates
- Over pins or plates of metal
- Malignant Tumors
- Disorders of the nerve or blood
- If the patient takes blood-thinning medications
It is recommended that patients abstain from physical activity for about 48 hours after each therapy session, especially one that would involve the treated area.