Because Shockwave Therapy has been shown to be extremely effective in shortening the treatment period, it has quickly become the treatment of choice for professional athletes, helping them return to the playing field faster. You don’t need to be a professional athlete to be treated like one!
What is Shockwave Therapy?
Shockwave therapy is a non-invasive way of restarting the natural healing process allowing your body to repair itself. The common factor in all of these conditions is the chronic inflammatory process, which is a vicious cycle of pain and damage that is often seen in association with over-use injuries. Shockwave therapy can convert this chronic inflammatory process into an acute inflammatory process much like a fresh injury, from which the body can usual heal itself.
Typically three treatments of about five minutes are required spaced over three weeks. The treatments are a bit uncomfortable, but no injections are required, and they are not nearly as painful as surgery.
Until recently, a course of Shockwave Therapy was an expensive treatment choice. It was only available privately and in only a few consultant lead clinics. Since 2015, we are proud to be one of the first physiotherapy clinics in Salisbury to be able to offer this effective treatment at a much more affordable price.
What conditions can be treated?
- Plantar Fasciitis
- Calcific Tendonitis Shoulder
- Tennis and Golfer’s elbow
- Achilles Tendinopathy
- Trochanteric bursitis (Lateral hip pain)
- Patella Tendinopathy (Jumpers Knee)
- Medial Tibial Periostitis (shin splints)
- Other tendon problems
All of these conditions are otherwise hard to treat if they don’t get better with physiotherapy and before shockwave therapy existed the next step would often be surgery.
It has a success rate of about 70-80%, so it does not work for everyone, but does help most people even when other treatments have failed. It is a great way to keep yourself away from an operation.
What happens at the treatment session?
During Shockwave therapy, a high-intensity sound waves are sent into the tissues of the body. This leads to all sorts of beneficial effects such as new blood vessel ingrowth, reversal of chronic inflammation, stimulation of new tissue growth and breaking down calcium deposits. For you it’s about 5 minutes of quite noisy, and a little bit uncomfortable treatment to the sore area, three weeks in a row.
What can I expect after my Shockwave Therapy treatment?
Some people feel some benefit right after the session, but then it may be sore for the next day or two. The full benefit of the treatment takes some time, with most people feeling much better by 3 months. It carries on improving up to a year. If it is sore the next day please don’t take anti-inflammatories like nurofen or ibuprofen, as these can stop the shockwave from working well. You can take paracetamol or cocodaomol if you need to.
Is this approved by the National Institute of Clinical Excellence?
NICE have looked a shockwave therapy and found it to be safe. The scientific evidence for efficacy is equivocal and as a result NICE have suggested that clinicians carrying out shockwave therapy should gather data on their patients in order to see how well it works. This sort of recommendation from NICE is very common indeed as it takes many years, and many patients to gather robust scientific evidence for any treatment.
For this reason you may be asked to enrol in the ASSERT protocol which is a simple process used to assess how effective shockwave therapy has been.