Radial Shockwave Therapy is a series of energetic shockwaves applied to the area that needs treatment. A shockwave is a purely mechanical wave, not an electric one. The treatment initiates an inflammation-like condition (pro-flamatory) in the tissue that is being treated.
The body responds by increasing the blood circulation and metabolism in the impact area which in turn accelerates the body's own healing processes. The shockwaves break down injured tissue and calcifications.
"ESWT offers two main advantages over traditional surgical methods: fewer potential complications and a faster return to normal activity." FDA
HOW DOES SHOCKWAVE THERAPY WORK?
WHAT IS THE SUCCESS RATE FOR RADIAL SHOCKWAVE THERAPY?
Documented international results show an overall result rate of 77% of chronic conditions that have not been cured with other kinds of treatment. It is important to highlight that we would expect positive clinical outcomes following treatment however there is a chance that the treatment may not improve your symptoms. A review at 12 weeks is recommended following your final treatment. If at this stage your symptoms persist you will be advised of alternative treatments/surgery by your medical practitioner.
WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES WITH RADIAL SHOCKWAVE THERAPY?
Radial Shockwave Therapy is applied without medica- tion, for example Cortisone injections. The treatment stimulates and effectively supports the body's self healing mechanisms. It is usual to experience immediate pain relief following the treatment and hence improved movement. Reported side effects are minimal, however there may be some discomfort during treatment, skin reddening, possible bruising. If you are concerned please speak with your medical practitioner before receiving treatment.
IS THE SHOCKWAVE TREATMENT ITSELF PAINFUL?
Sometimes the treatment is a bit painful, but most people can stand these few intense minutes without medication. If you are in pain during the treatment please notify your medical practitioner as there are some adjustments that can be made to reduce the discomfort, however, having some pain during the treatment illustrates that shockwaves are having a positive effect.
WILL I BE IN PAIN AFTER THE TREATMENT?
You will normally experience a reduced level of pain or no pain at all immediately after the treatment, but a mild and diffused pain may occur a few hours later. This dull pain can last for a day or so.
WHAT SHALL I DO IF I AM IN PAIN AFTER THE TREATMENT?
Radial Shockwave Treatment initiates a pro-flammatory condition in the tissue that is being treated. If necessary you may use ordinary prescription-free pain killers. Do not use anti-inflammatory medication and do not use ice on the treated area as both will interfere with the body's self healing abilities.
WHAT IF I AM PAINLESS AFTER THE SHOCKWAVE TREATMENT?
Even if you have no pain we strongly recommend that you refrain from intensive activities that stress the treated area for the next 48 hours after each treatment.
WHAT IF THE SHOCKWAVE TREATMENT DOESN'T WORK FOR ME?
Even though the response to shockwave treatment normally is exceptionally good within a few weeks it may take several months before maximum effect is achieved. If after 3-4 months you still do not experience a pronounced improvement, surgery for example may be an alternative depending on your particular clinical picture.
ARE THERE ANY CONTRAINDICATIONS OR PRECAUTIONS THAT I SHOULD BE AWARE OF?
Areas of the body that we can treat with shockwave therapy:
Shockwave therapy is a non-surgical treatment, and works by delivering impulses of energy, targeted to specific damaged tissues within the abnormal tendon
Yes. There are numerous papers to show that shockwave therapy can be effective. It is non-invasive and relatively safe. The London Podiatry Centre often use it for the treatment of conditions of the tendon and plantar fasciitis.
Shockwave therapy is suitable for tendon and soft tissue injury. The London Podiatry Centre tends to use it for plantar fasciitis/heel pain and Achilles problems.
There are few side effects. It can be a little uncomfortable during the treatment, but the risks are small. In theory, if the bone is very weak it could be affected, but you would not have shockwave if you were severely osteoporotic. There are very few contraindications to shockwave. In the days following shockwave therapy, you may experience swelling and redness in the treated area. This can make your pain feel worse, but this is indicative of the healing process, is completely normal and will subside within a day or two.
The London Podiatry Centre tend to use shockwave to treat plantar fasciitis, Achilles problems and other soft tissue injuries.
It is important not to aggravate the area by undertaking activity that has caused the problem. For example, you might have to abstain from running for a while.
There is a fair amount of evidence to show that shockwave therapy can help plantar fasciitis, and we use it frequently at the London Podiatry Centre.
The treatment takes a few minutes. The London Podiatry Centre recommends three to four sessions at weekly intervals.
Any treatment can aggravate a condition, but it is unlikely. The London Podiatry Centre has had very few patients report worse symptoms after treatment. When shockwave has not been effective, we then move on to other treatment, such as injections. The key element with plantar fasciitis is to deal with the underlying cause. For example, if you have sciatica causing stretch on the heel, this has to be addressed as part of the problem for it to heal.
The London Podiatry Centre recommend three or four sessions at weekly intervals. Sometimes a second course is given.
Yes, The London Podiatry Centre has found that it can be effective in combination with other treatments.
Shockwave aggravate the tissues, which causes a healing response and the release of various chemical factors that stimulate recovery. Such factors include substance P.
It is important to deal with the underlying reason why a patient has Achilles tendonitis, and in this respect, The London Podiatry Centre would normally perform gait analysis which would allow us to formulate an evidence-based treatment approach. Appropriate loading techniques are also utilised for Achilles tendonitis, although there is no strong evidence that stretching helps in the early stages. Soft tissue work may be beneficial and avoiding a shoe with a low heel can also be helpful. At The London Podiatry Centre, we utilise various forms of treatment, including G5, Erchonia cold laser and shockwave. Sometimes we will use treatments such as injection therapy, and surgery is considered as a last resort.