How does Shockwave Therapy work?
Shockwave therapy uses deep pulses of high energy sound waves that are generated through the body via a hand-held device to target problem areas within muscles and joints.
The energy waves create thousands of tiny bubbles. These bubbles expand and burst, resulting in therapeutic, micro trauma to the tissues.
The micro trauma then stimulates the body’s own, natural, regenerative and reparative processes, in the body part you are having treatment on.
Increased circulation, increased nerve growth and the breakdown of thickened scar tissue, help to repair the old injury, improve movement and most important relieve your pain.
What does Shockwave Therapy treat?
Shockwave Therapy is approved and recommended as a safe and effective treatment by the National Institute for Health & Care Excellence (NICE) as it has been substantially researched with much evidence for its effectiveness.
If you need help with:
- Plantar fasciitis
- Shoulder pain, e.g. calcific lesions of the rotator cuff and bony spurs
- Tennis / Golfers Elbow (Lateral / Medial epicondylitis)
- Achilles tendonitis
- Patellar tendonitis (jumper‘s knee)
- Tendon insertion pain /repetitive strain to tendons
- Heel pain, heel spurs
- Shin Splints
- Bursitis – around the hips or shoulders are most common
- Chronic neck dysfunction
- Back pain caused by long term tightness of muscles, damage to ligaments or tendons
Frequently Asked Questions
How successful is Shockwave Therapy?
Research shows a 70-80% success rate across a wide range of conditions in terms of pain reduction and return to normal function. Shockwave therapy may not work for everyone, but it is can be extremely helpful in most people with longstanding pain issues who have failed to respond to other conservative treatments and may actually be the preferred approach due to the treatment’s effectiveness. In many cases it has helped people to avoid invasive and surgical treatments.
How often will I need treatment? How soon will I feel pain relief?
The number of treatment sessions varies depending on the problem and the tissue response. The treatment effect is cumulative, so most people on average will require 3-6 treatments, but more often than not, you will experience some immediate relief after the initial treatment, with many people reporting significant improvements after just 3 sessions. Treatments are typically done 7 days apart, depending on the tissue response and tolerance levels. In certain circumstance with very stubborn issues more sessions maybe required.
A review is recommended 4 weeks after the last treatment.
What should I expect during the treatment sessions?
On your initial consultation, you will be assessed by one of our experienced Osteopaths, who will discuss your symptoms and perform an examination of the problem and suitability. Once we ascertained your suitability for treatment, we will fully explain the nature of Shockwave treatment. This will be followed by treatment to the area of pain or injury. The Shockwave treatment itself typically lasts for 10 minutes.
At Cheadle Osteopathy, we don’t just want to relieve your pain and fix your problem; we want to prevent it from re-occurring. So, alongside the Shockwave treatment we will, where necessary, incorporate relevant hands-on manual therapy, for example soft-tissue stretching, massage, joint mobilisation/manipulation and medical acupuncture. This will also be supported by appropriate supportive exercises and lifestyle advice.
How much does the treatment cost?
You may need between 3-6 sessions Shockwave treatment.
If your Osteopath feels Shockwave is not appropriate for your condition, this will be explained, and a normal consultation fee will be made (£48 for an initial consultation or £44 for existing patients).
Does the treatment have side-effects ?
It is normal to experience some discomfort during the treatment, but this usually fades as the area becomes desensitised during the treatment.It is normal to experience some discomfort during the treatment, but this usually fades as the area becomes desensitised during the treatment. Sometimes the treatment can be painful, and this is largely dependent on the level of pain you already feel in the area.
The discomfort you may feel should be tolerable, but your Osteopath will be able to moderate the treatment intensity during the session.
The side effects of shockwave therapy are minimal. Although many patients experience an immediate reduction in their pain following treatment, Shockwave therapy is designed purposefully to create an inflammatory response in the injured area in order to stimulate your body’s natural healing process, so it is quite normal to experience mild discomfort in the treated area within a few hours of treatment.
This reported to be tolerable and none limiting and usually settles within a couple of days after treatment.
There are some conditions, where shockwave therapy is unsuitable. These include:
- If you are pregnant,
- If you have any pre-ruptured tendons,
- If you are under the age of 18 due to the bones still growing and not fully mature. The only exception to this is the treatment of Osgood-Schlatters disease
- If you have a pacemaker fitted
- If you have a blood-clotting disorders (including local thrombosis),
- If you are taking blood thinning medication (anticoagulants)
- If tumours, infections and broken skin are present at the site of treatment
- If you have received a local steroid injection within six weeks
Do I need to do anything different after the Shockwave treatment?
It is recommended that patients cease from strenuous, pain-inducing activity or high-impact physical activity, especially one that would involve the treated region, for 48 hours following each treatment session.
If you experience discomfort from treatment, it is not recommended to take anti- inflammatory medication, such as ibuprofen, or use ice packs. This is due to the Shockwave’s purpose to stimulate an inflammatory response in the body, and these can interfere with the body’s healing mechanism.
However, you can take over the counter painkillers, such as paracetamol.
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