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Shockwave being applied for shoulder pain.

What can be treated with Shockwave Therapy?

  • Adhesive Capsulitis (frozen shoulder)

  • Calcific Tendonitis in the shoulder

  • Rotator Cuff Tendinopathy (shoulder)

  • Biceps Tendinopathy (shoulder)

  • Tennis Elbow (lateral epicondylitis)

  • Golfers Elbow (medial epicondylitis)

  • Sacroilliac Pain

  • Greater Trochanteric Pain Syndrome (hip)

  • Proximal Hamstring Tendinopathy

  • Patella Tendinopathy (knee)

  • Tibialis Posterior Tendinopathy (lower leg)

  • Achilles Tendinopathy (ankle)

  • Plantarfascitis (foot)

Shockwave therapy is a NICE approved, non-invasive, non-surgical procedure that is effective in the treatment of ongoing tendon problems. Also known as Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy, or ESWT, it uses the power of high energy sound waves to target chronically painful tendon tissues, promoting healing and relieving pain. There are two types Radial Shockwave Therapy (RSWT) and Focused Shockwave Therapy (FSWT).

What is RSWT and how does it work?

Radial shockwaves are high-energy acoustic waves that spread out from the point of origin and disperse over a larger area. When the shockwaves are applied to the targeted area, they create a mechanical force that stimulates the body’s natural healing response. This mechanical force triggers a cascade of cellular and biochemical events, including;

Stimulating blood flow: The high-energy acoustic waves delivered stimulate blood flow to the affected area. Increased blood flow helps to reduce inflammation and promote tissue regeneration.

By disrupting pain pathways in the body by activating nerve fibres that inhibit pain signals. This can help to reduce pain and improve function.

Promoting tissue regeneration by stimulating the production of growth factors and other substances that promote tissue regeneration. This can help to repair damaged tissues and accelerate the healing process.

How many sessions?

This does depend on what is being treated. Usually a minimum of 3 sessions and up to 6 and ideally treatments need to be a week apart.

Although patients might feel a slight discomfort during the treatment, many patients report they feel an immediate relief of pain once the treatment has been completed.

Treatment sessions last around 10 to 20 minutes and are combined with exercise and loading programmes to be effective making the overall sessions up to 40mins.

Is it safe?

Yes, shockwave therapy is a completely safe and effective treatment for painful tendon tissues and other conditions. The therapy has NICE guidance and is used within the NHS.

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