Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy

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Shockwave Therapy

The Arches physio is delighted to now be able to offer Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy (ESWT).

Shockwave has been shown to improve clinical outcomes in many upper and lower limb chronic tendon disorders providing rapid pain relief and a window of opportunity to return to functional activities through reigniting the body’s own healing response. Specifically, NICE (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) have produced guidelines for the use of shockwave in the treatment of Achilles tendinopathy, plantar fasciopathy and calcific tendinopathy.

ESWT is an evidence based treatment for tendon pain as well as other musculoskeletal problems around the body. Extracorporeal means that the low -energy acoustic waves from the applicator of the machine are delivered, via a gel, to the outside of the body.

The main benefits of shockwave is pain relief, restoration of the function of tendon tissue. Shockwave therapy has been shown to be an effective treatment for a range of common tendon complaints including plantar fasciitis (fasciopathy), Achilles tendinopathy and tennis elbow. It is a valuable tool which we can now integrate into other physiotherapy approaches such as soft tissue techniques and exercise based rehabilitation.

A large body of research evidence including multiple, randomised, double-blinded clinical trials is now increasingly showing shockwave therapy to be an extremely effective treatment intervention. Indeed, shockwave therapy for tendon pathology is supported by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) who produce stringent evidence based guidance.

The treatment can be administered in a matter of minutes by your therapist and is generally advised once per week over 4-6 weeks depending on the response to the intervention. There may be a mild, short term discomfort at the outset of the treatment and just after application but that is to be expected with the shockwave therapy.

Shockwave is not advisable if you are taking medications to thin your blood, have recently had a steroidal injection (within the last 6 weeks) local to the injured area, near cancerous tissues or in proximity to the major organs of the body.

Shockwave Therapy is an extremely useful intervention for the following conditions (amongst others):

  • Plantar fasciitis (fasciopathy)
  • Lateral epicondylitis (tennis elbow)
  • Medial epicondylitis (golfer’s elbow)
  • Tendinopathy around the shoulder
  • Patella Tendinopathy
  • Achilles tendinopathy
  • Gluteal tendinopathy / Trochanteric bursitis
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