What is shockwave therapy?
Shockwave therapy is a non-surgical treatment, and works by delivering impulses of energy which target specific damaged tissues within the abnormal tendon or soft tissue structure. This increases the blood flow within the affected area, stimulating cell regeneration, healing and reducing pain.
Who is Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy suitable for?
Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy treatment is a highly effective treatment available for two main groups:
• Plantar Fasciitis/heel pain
• Achilles Tendonopathy
Before shockwave therapy is considered you will have a full clinical assessment. This may include an ultrasound scan.
The Podiatrist will work with you to identify the exact area of pain and apply a gel-like substance to the area. A probe is pressed on to the affected area and the shockwaves are delivered through the skin. The impulses are delivered through the skin as a shockwave that spreads inside the injured tissue. These radial shockwaves initiate an inflammation-like response in the injured tissue that is being treated, and prompts the body to respond naturally by increasing blood circulation, the number of blood vessels and therefore metabolism in the injured tissue.
The shockwaves are felt as pulses which are a little uncomfortable but not painful. The procedure does not require any type of sedation or anaesthetic.
Shock-wave therapy treatments are usually performed at weekly or fortnightly intervals. Each treatment session takes about 20 minutes and you may need between 3 treatment sessions (possibly 5 for resistant problems).
After shockwave therapy
Many patients experience an improvement in symptoms almost immediately while others take several weeks to respond. You may notice a reddening or swelling of the area with some patients experiencing a brief increase in pain. It may take several weeks to see an overall benefit.