Shockwave Therapy

What is shockwave therapy?

Shockwave therapy, also known as extracorporeal shockwave therapy (ESWT), is a physiotherapy treatment performed to relieve acute or chronic pain and encourage the body’s healing process at the molecular level.

It is a non-invasive treatment that uses high-energy acoustic waves to stimulate healing in the body, and to increase metabolic activity around the site of pain.

Shockwave therapy

Types of shockwave therapy

Radial shockwave therapy

Radial shockwaves are generated by a projectile fired at speed inside a hand-held applicator. When the applicator is placed on the surface of the skin with a coupling medium such as ultrasound gel, the impulses are delivered as a shockwave that penetrates the affected area as an aspherical “radial” wave.

Focused shockwave therapy

Focused shockwaves are generated electromagnetically through a cylindrical coil, creating opposing magnetic fields when the current is applied in a handheld applicator. When the applicator is placed on the surface of the affected area, the shockwave causes a submerged membrane to move and generate a pressure wave in the surrounding fluid medium. These waves propagate through the medium to a focused zone of an affected area.

Focused shockwaves are able to penetrate more deeply into the targeted tissue than radial shockwaves, making it more effective for treating deep-seated injuries and conditions.

When do you need shockwave therapy?

Shockwave therapy is mainly used for pain relief and tissue regeneration.

Shockwaves cause increased blood circulation and angiogenesis (formation of new vessels), which leads to a reduction in concentration of chemicals that sensitise structures to pain.

This treatment method can also be used to treat sports injuries and chronic pain conditions such as:

  • Plantar fasciitis
  • Tennis elbow
  • Heel pain
  • Heel spurs
  • Frozen shoulder
  • Morton’s neuroma
  • Calcific rotator cuff tendinitis
  • Achilles tendinopathy
  • Tendonitis
  • Trigger point therapy
  • Jumper’s knee
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