What is Shockwave Therapy?

Extra-corporeal shock wave therapy (ESWT), known simply as Shockwave Therapy, is a treatment used to treat soft tissue injuries, ligaments and tendons. It has been used in Sports Medicine clinics worldwide for a number of years and is becoming a popular treatment for plantar fascia dysfunction (fasciitis) and insertional Achilles tendinopathy.

How does Shockwave Therapy work?

Using a handheld applicator, shockwaves are sent directly through the injury site. The shockwaves are generated when compressed air drives the ballistic projectile to the shock transmitters. This release of acoustic waves is transmitted through the skin to the damaged tissue, promoting regeneration and reparative processes of the bones, tendons and surrounding soft tissues.

The shockwaves:

  • stimulate blood supply and new cell growth
  • introduce microtrauma which allows the reactivation of the inflammatory and catabolic processes in chronic damaged tissues
  • appear to break up calcified damaged cells allowing them to be removed and regenerated
  • stimulate collagen production
  • reduce the transmission of pain signals by lowering pain mediators ‘Substance P’
  • release trigger points to relief muscle tensions

Shockwave machine for podiatry care

How many treatments do I need?

Depending on your condition, a total of 3 – 6 treatments are usually required.  Some patients notice an immediate improvement in their pain, however the best results occur 12 weeks after the initial treatment, once the tissue has had a chance to regenerate.

How effective is Shockwave Therapy?

How effective is Shockwave Therapy?

Scientific evidence has proven it to be extremely effective (over 70% success rate) for plantar fasciitis with improvement in pain levels after 3 sessions. Shockwave Therapy is FDA approved for plantar fasciitis condition.

What to expect

What to expect

Your Podiatrist will locate the area of pain through palpation. The shockwave impulses are then delivered using a hand-held device. It takes about five minutes to deliver a single treatment.  The treatment is generally said to be uncomfortable, rather than painful and is well tolerated by the vast majority of patients. This process is repeated multiple times with ideally a week between treatments. Shockwave therapy is much less risky and intrusive than cortisone injection and surgery, with no needles, anesthetics, or scars to worry about.

Shockwave machine being used to help heel pain

To determine whether Shockwave Therapy is right for you, contact us for an appointment with one of our Podiatrists. We will thoroughly examine and assess your condition and discuss the treatment options to create a plan tailored to your needs. Often Shockwave Therapy is used in conjunction with other Podiatry services, such as strapping, Orthotics and footwear advice.
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What are the side effects of Shockwave Therapy?

Shockwave Therapy has very few contraindications and no known side effects reported by patients.

Contradictions include Pregnancy, Local Malignancy, Coagulopathy, Pacemaker and local metal wear.

Some patients may experience pain during the procedure, transient skin redness and swelling occurring with the inflammation process. You may experience aching and throbbing pain after the treatment but they are only temporary and often resolve within a week.

Shockwave treatment is a non-invasive therapeutic intervention, without the dangers of a surgical procedure and postoperative pain. Our specialised Podiatrists will conduct a pre-assessment with you before application to make sure it is safe for you.

For more info, please download our summary of Shockwave Therapy
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If you are interested in this treatment, please contact us to arrange an appointment with one of our Podiatrists.
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