Shockwave was initially used in the 1970s and 1980s as a non-evasive treatment for kidney stones and has since been developed for use in musculo-skeletal injury. This has led to a growing body of evidence in aiding healing, especially in chronic conditions.
Shockwave can be distinguished into two types, Radial and Focussed. The difference is based on the energy delivery, the depth, and the physiological response.
What is Shockwave Therapy used for?
Shockwave therapy is an effective treatment modality for a number of upper and lower limb conditions, when used in conjunction with exercise prescription. These include:
Calcaneal Heel Spurs
Calcific Tendinitis of the Shoulder
Lateral Hip Pain
Trigger Point Treatment
Proximal Hamstring Tendinopathy
Golfer’s Elbow (common flexor tendinopathy)
Tennis Elbow (Common Extensor Tendinopathy)
Shockwave will be delivered as part of you normal therapy input, complementing soft tissue correction, joint mobility and any strength and conditioning needs.
If you are being referred from another therapist then we do have the option for shorter sessions where only shockwave will be delivered.
How Does shockwave work?
A specialist device is used to deliver acoustic energy through the skin to a target tissue. The shockwaves are mechanical and not electrical. They are audible, low energy sound waves which increase blood flow and alter cellular activity of the injured area. When you receive shockwave therapy you will be getting between 4-21 of these shockwaves per second, lasting around 5 minutes, creating on average 2500 shockwaves into the tissue.
Shockwave stimulates the cells that generate soft tissue and bone . It stimulates stem cell production and can reduce scarring, reduce healing times, and promote tissue regeneration. It will work on muscle, tendons, ligaments and also for regeneration of bone tissue.
The pulses delivered to the target tissue inhibit the transmission of the pain signal, initially via hypostimulation anaethesia, then via the pain gate theory. This theory is based on Melzack and Wall’s work (1965). It is stated that shockwave has a 70% success rate for tendinopathies (Moya et al, 2018, Dedes et al, 2018)
The shockwaves also influence the tissue at a cellular level, promoting the release of pain inhibiting and inflammatory substances required for the healing process. Blood flow is also enhanced promoting tissue healing and regeneration
Are there any side effects?
Shockwave is non-invasive, safe, and has very few side effects. In most cases, there may be some local tissue soreness within the first 48 hours, but often you will experienced improved function and a reduction in your presented pain levels.
It is always important to fully assess the area of complaint, to determine a diagnosis and that the correct treatment protocols can be advised.
We do advise taking relative rest after your shockwave treatment for the first 24 hours and not to take non steroidal anti inflammatories.
How much does Shockwave cost?
Single Session £60
A block of 4 session £200
Additional session post course £40
Shockwave is an additional cost to the therapy session and will often be applied in short 15 minute treatment is no other input is required
This covered by BUPA, AXA and Vitality Insurers amongst others
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