Shockwave Therapy (SWT) is a great form of treatment for people with chronic tendonitis who want to avoid surgery.
It is scientifically proven to help relieve chronic pain associated with:
- Tennis Elbow
- Golfer’s Elbow
- Rotator Cuff Tendonitis and Calcification
- Achilles Tendonitis
- Plantar Fasciitis and Heel Spurs
- Shin Splints
- Patella Tendonitis (Jumper’s Knee)
- ITB Syndrome
- Osgood Schlatter’s Disease
- Hamstring Tendonitis
How It Works
The Shockwave Therapy machine uses a mechanical “bullet” that moves rapidly back and forward in the gun causing a shockwave. That shockwave then passes through the skin to create “micro-trauma” in the area to kick-start the inflammatory process and healing response.
The “micro-trauma” will increase blood flow to the area and help accelerate tissue repair and regeneration. It also pushes away the body’s “pain chemicals” and brings in endorphins (the body’s own natural pain-killing chemicals) for pain relief.
In other words, the goal is to turn a chronic injury back to an acute injury so the healing process can start again and the injury can finally recover.
What Happens in The Session
The shockwave handpiece is held against the skin at the injury site (most commonly where the tendon attaches to the bone).
The initial shocks may cause some deep pain, however this generally means we are on the correct spot. Unfortunately, the treatment has to hurt a bit or else it will take more sessions for your injury to recover.
After the initial shocks, the treatment normally feels less painful and is commonly described as a “numbness” or “heaviness” in the area.
The treatment sessions are 20 minutes in duration during which you may receive up to 3000 shocks.
Many patients get pain relief in just 8-10 days after the first treatment.
We recommend having 5 sessions over 5 weeks (once/week) to get the best results from Shockwave Therapy.
You will also be given exercises to help with your rehab.
In conclusion, Shockwave Therapy is used to speed up the recovery process which can commonly take months, if not years.
Contraindications (People Who Cannot Have Shockwave Therapy)
Shockwave Therapy may not be appropriate for:
- People under 18 years of age (except in the case of Osgood-Schlatter’s). This is because SWT cannot be applied where growth plates in the bones have not yet fused. If the patient is under 18 and would benefit from SWT, an X-ray can be ordered of the bones in the injured area to ensure the growth plates have fused prior to treatment.
- Pregnant women. SWT to a pregnant woman’s stomach area is contraindicated because even low doses can negatively affect the fetus. However, using Shockwave treatment on the foot of a pregnant woman can be relatively safe if performed carefully.
- Patients with blood-clotting disorders (such as haemophilia or thrombosis), or those taking strong blood thinning medications (such as warfarin or heparin). If proper caution is used during treatment, SWT can be used on patients with clotting disorders or those taking anti-coagulants. The danger is high pressure or high frequency shockwaves can cause increased bleeding.
- A Cortisone Injection in the affected area within the last 6 weeks. Cortisone Injections can weaken the area and applying shockwave immediately after can cause damage, including the tendon to rupture.
- Pacemaker fitted.
- Tumour, infection or open wound in the treatment area.
- Shockwaves cannot be applied over the following areas: eyes, lungs, stomach, large nerves and blood vessels, genitals, the spine or the head..gun