Extracorporeal shockwave therapy (ESWT) is a treatment used in physical therapy, Orthopaedics, urology and cardiology. The shock waves are abrupt, high amplitude pulses of mechanical energy, similar to soundwaves, generated by an electromagnetic coil or a spark in water. Similar technology using focused higher energies is used to break up kidney and gallstones, and is termed lithotripsy. “Extracorporeal” means that the shockwaves are generated externally to the body and transmitted from a pad through the skin.
Extracorporeal shockwave therapy is used to treat a growing number of tendon, joint and muscle conditions. These include tennis elbow, where results in double blind studies are reported as excellent; chronic tendinitis of the knee and shoulder rotator cuff pain, Achilles tendonitis, hamstring tendinitis and plantar fasciitis have also been treated successfully.
The above conditions are often difficult to treat using other methods and can become chronic. With ESWT patients report reduced pain and faster healing, without significant adverse side effects.
Shock waves stimulate angiogenesis (new blood vessels) and neurogenesis (new nerve cells). It appears that the cells undergo micro trauma which promotes the inflammatory and catabolic processes that are associated with removing damaged matrix constituents and stimulating wound healing mechanisms.
The UK advisory body, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), have issued guidance on ESWT to UK clinicians for a number of clinical indications including calcific tendinitis of the shoulder, plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendinopathy, tennis elbow, and greater trochanteric pain syndrome. NICE state ESWT raises no major safety concerns
Shockwave Therapy is only available at our Barrington Drive Practice