What is Shockwave?
Shockwave therapy is a non-invasive treatment that involves applying a series of low-energy acoustic waves via a gel medium to an injured area of your body.
It has found to be an effective adjunct to muscular injuries as well as acute and chronic tendon issues. Shockwave increases the blood flow to the injured area, breaks down scar tissue and helps de sensitive the nervous system therefore reducing the amount of pain you experience. It is recommended to receive a total of 3-6 sessions, which is applied by your physiotherapist once to twice a week.
In conjunction with an exercise-based rehabilitation programme, it has seen to accelerate the healing process of muscular and tendon issues. Shockwave can be mildly uncomfortable on administering but the settings on the machine can be adjusted to suit your needs.
What conditions does it work for?
Shockwave therapy has shown to be effective in tendinopathies and bursitis pain in the upper and lower limbs:
- Feet - heel spurs, plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendinopathy
- Elbow - tennis and golfers elbow
- Shoulder - calcific tendinosis of rotator cuff muscles
- Knee - patellar tendinopathy and Iliotibial band pain
- Hip - bursitis, gluteal and adductor tendinopathy
- Lower leg - shin splints
What is important to remember?
The majority of these conditions occur initially because the load was too great for the tissue that it was placed on (you have a lack of capacity). This can be for a number of reasons such as:
- Started a new sport, type of exercise or work.
- Change surfaces suddenly that you exercise on.
- You had just returned to exercise after a period of time off i.e after a different injury.
- Age, gender, hormones and other health conditions.
As a result of this it is important to remember that while shockwave may help improve or resolve your condition, you need to complete your full rehabilitation, or the pain will come back as the tissue hasn't built up its capacity to cope with load yet, which was the original cause of the injury.