Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy (ESWT)
Shockwave Therapy is a procedure where shock waves are passed through the skin to the injured part of the body, using a special device. Extracorporeal means outside of the body. The shockwaves are mechanical and not electric. They are audible, low-energy sound waves, which work by a number of mechanisms including; increasing blood flow to the injured area, reversal of chronic inflammatory process, stimulation of collagen production, dispersion of pain mediators and the release of trigger points.
What's it for?
Shock Wave Therapy can achieve superb results for patients experiencing persistent pain conditions affecting tendons and muscles including symptoms such as shin splints, tennis elbow, shoulder tendonitis, Achilles tendonitis, patellar tendonitis, Heel pain (plantar fasciitis, heel spur), scar tissue, facet joint inflammation in the back and muscular trigger points. The process involves applying compressed air to the affected area creating “shock waves”. Calcified tissue and scar tissue can be broken down enabling healthy tissue growth. Many patients find shock wave therapy enables them to get back to a normal active and healthy lifestyle. It has also recently been shown to help reduce cellulite.
How many treatments will i need?
If you have suffered with any of the conditions above you will know how difficult they can be to treat, you will probably have already tried many sessions of manual therapy, pain killers, anti-inflammatories and even injections. However most patients who receive Shockwave Therapy experience improvements in their condition from just a single session with it typically taking between 3 and 6 sessions, one week apart, for maximum improvement.
Does it hurt?
There may be a slight feeling of discomfort during the treatment, depending on the level of pain the patient is already experiencing in the area. However, since the treatment are relatively short (approx 10mins), most patients are able to tolerate this discomfort. Additionally, the intensity of the treatment can be adjusted throughout the session, so just let us know if and we can adjust it.
Mechanism of Action
Shockwave is an acoustic wave which carries high energy to painful spots and myoskeletal tissues with subacute, subchronic and chronic conditions. The energy promotes regeneration and reparative processes of the bones, tendons and other soft tissues.
Shockwaves are characterized by jump change in pressure, high amplitude and non-periodicity. The kinetic energy of the projectile, created by compressed air, is transferred to the transmitter at the end of the applicator and further into the tissue.
How much does it cost?
The treatments are ideally delivered in courses of around 3 to 6 sessions over a fairly short time frame 2-3 weeks, this obviously very much depends on the diagnosis. As such we package them up in bundles of three at £200. Due of the success of SWT some insurers have started covering it as part of their package.