What Is Shockwave Therapy?
Shockwave therapy is newer to the world of orthopedics, sports medicine and physiotherapy. ESWT (Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy) is applied locally to specific body areas and sends acoustic shockwaves into bone or soft tissue, which reinjures the area on a cellular level, by breaking up the scarring that has developed in tendons and ligaments. The controlled reinjuring of tissue allows the body to regenerate blood vessels and ultimately, proper tissue. The resulting revascularization leads to faster healing and often a faster return to pain-free activity. The device is handheld and applied locally to affected body parts.
How Does It Work?
The Shockwave machine uses high energy sound waves to push air within the device to move a projectile back and forth against the applicator head. This energy is transmitted from the applicator head to the skin and underlying tissues. This creates a new stimulus for healing injuries that are sub-chronic or chronic. In a chronic injury (ie. an injury that has lasted >3 months) or an injury that has not resolved with conservative treatment and rest, the body has basically given up on trying to heal itself. So, shockwave is used to restart the healing process, right from the inflammatory stage.
What Is Shockwave Therapy Used For?
Shockwave therapy is used to treat nagging injuries that have not responded to other types of treatments. It is a non-invasive modality for people suffering from chronic joint, ligament and tendon injuries. Shockwave is a more aggressive treatment but a growing body of evidence supports its use in conditions such as patellar tendinopathy, calcific tendonitis, lateral epicondylalgia, groin strains, rotator cuff tendonitis and plantar fasciitis.
Is It Painful?
Since the area being treated will already be injured and the intent is to restart the healing process through reinjuring it can be uncomfortable, but, because the treatments are short, most people can tolerate it.
Is It Effective?
Below are some links to some conditions commonly treated by shockwave therapy that will illustrate this therapy is both safe and effective.
- Patellar Tendinopathy
- Calcific Tendonitis
- Tennis Elbow
- Rotator Cuff Tendonitis
- Plantar Fasciitis
- Achilles Tendinopathy
15 minutes — $30.00
How Apex Can Help
Shockwave therapy is a multidisciplinary treatment used in orthopedics, physiotherapy, and sports medicine. Its main assets are fast pain relief and mobility restoration. This treatment is most commonly used at the Apex Centre in conjunction with:
If you have a chronic or nagging injury you believe might benefit from shockwave therapy, call us to book an appointment. We’ll assess your condition and prescribe the most effective course of treatment.