What is Shockwave Therapy?
Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy (ESWT) is a revolutionary technique that involves shockwaves being passed through the skin to the injured part of the body. The treatment has been developed from the original use of shockwaves in the treatment of kidney stones.
How is the treatment given?
The technique itself is non-invasive and does not involve the use of any needles. The treatment is performed as an out-patient and involves three to four sessions of treatment.
The shockwaves are produced by a machine known as the Swiss DolorClast. This is the UK's leading Radial Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy (rESWT) device in use at present. Its use is now well recognised in the treatment of a wide range of chronic inflammatory conditions.
How does Shockwave work?
The shockwaves are produced by a projectile that is propelled at high speed by compressed air inside a hand-held applicator. When the applicator is placed on the surface of the skin, together with a coupling medium, such as ultrasound gel, the impulses are delivered through the skin as a shockwave that spreads inside the injured tissue as an aspherical ‘radial' wave.
The radial shockwaves initiate an inflammation-like response in the injured tissue that is being treated. This prompts the body to respond naturally by increasing blood circulation and the number of blood vessels, and therefore metabolism in the injured tissue. This accelerates the body's natural healing process by increasing cell generation and dissolving calcium deposit.
What else should I do whilst having the Shockwave Therapy?
In order to prevent the suppression of the healing response, we recommend that patients avoid the use of anti-inflammatory medication and ice. If pain does persist during the course of Shockwave treatment, we would recommend the use of pain-killers such as paracetamol or codeine.
We will usually also usually recommend a course of physiotherapy whilst you are having the Shockwave Therapy.
What is the evidence for Shockwave Therapy?
The treatment is now recognised by The National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE).
There is also a growing body of evidence in the scientific literature supporting the use of Shockwave Therapy for chronic inflammatory conditions. Read More >>