WHAT IS RADIAL SHOCKWAVE THERAPY?
Therapeutic Shockwave Treatment was introduced as a medical treatment for eliminating kidney stones over 20 years ago. One the side effects discovered was accelerated tissue and bone healing. Research has found that the shockwaves offer a non-invasive treatment solution to chronic tendon and soft tissue pathologies.
Radial shockwaves are high energy soundwaves transmitted via a treatment probe held against the skin which causes them to penetrate into the underlying tissues. The treatment works via the following mechanisms:
ADVANTAGES OF SHOCKWAVE THERAPY OVER OTHER TREATMENTS
1 – The targeted application of shockwaves means stress to the surrounding tissues is insignificant.
2 – The need for analgesics/anti-inflammatory medications is reduced/abolished.
3 – Shockwave therapy can prevent the need for surgical intervention in conditions otherwise resistant to other treatment modalities.
4- For stubborn conditions such as tennis elbow and plantar fasciitis it may be the only effective solution. International results show rates of 70-80% success in curing chronic conditions that have not responded to other treatment modalities.
WHAT SHOULD I EXPECT DURING TREATMENT?
Your therapist will examine you to determine the cause of pain. Shockwaves will then be applied via a treatment head held against the skin. The generation of shockwaves can cause the treatment to be quite noisy. The start of the treatment can cause pain but as the shockwaves penetrate more deeply this changes to a sensation of numbness or heaviness and the last stage of the treatment is usually much less painful. Treatment duration is approximately 10 minutes and many patients will report an improvement within 7-10 days. Depending on your condition between 3-6 sessions may be required with 5-7 days between treatments.
You may feel some soreness after treatment which may intensify on the night after treatment. Simple analgesics and ice can help to manage this. Some people may experience local swelling, redness and minor bruising which usually fades within 3-5 days.
Side effects, if any, usually appear within 2 days of treatment and will fade within 3-5 days after treatment.
- Post treatment pain
- Local bruising – uncommon and minor
- Redness and local selling of tissues
We will not be able to give you Radial Shockwave Therapy if you have any of the following conditions:
-If you have a pacemaker, heart disease or uncontrolled high blood pressure
-If you have an acute inflammatory condition (eg. active Rheumatoid Arthritis), Asthma, DVT, Thyroncus or Cancer
-People with haemorrhagic tendencies or coagulation system disturbances, those on Warfarin, Heparin or any other blood thinning medication.
- Pregnant women
- Medical plastic or metal parts
- Inflammatory skin conditions or oedema
- Those with abnormal immune systems
- Those who are numb or insensitive to heat
- If you have had local steroid injections in the affected area in the last month
- People under 18 years of age as growth plates can be affected (except in the case of Osgoode Schlatters)
- Shockwaves cannot be applied over areas that are gas filled such as lungs, gut and large nerve bundles, major blood vessels, the spine and the head.
CONDITIONS RSWT CAN HELP
Shin splints, stress fractures
Jumpers knee, Osgood-Schlatter’s
Runners knee (ITB)
Trochanteric bursitis and tendinopathy
Calcified shoulder tendinopathy