Shockwave therapy was introduced about 20 years ago in the medical field as a treatment for kidney stones. It was at this time that health professionals realised the increased rate of tissue healing in the area and thus introduced Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy (ECSWT) into physiotherapy practice in recent times.
The shockwave is an acoustic wave carrying high energy to painful spots in muscles and tendons. This wave is created by kinetic energy, generated by compressed air driving a projectile in a cylinder tube to a shock transmitter located in the hand piece. This handpiece is held over the site of tendon pathology where the pulses transmit through the tissue to a depth of approximately 6cm.
The primary benefits of Shockwave Therapy include:
- Analgesia – pain reduction by interfering with the way nerves interpret pain
- Reduced muscle tone – by releasing specific trigger points which are localised taut bands of muscle fibres within the muscle causing tightness
- Improved tissue healing – shockwave causes the release of specific chemicals within the tissue cells that reduce inflammation and pain
- Improved blood flow – repeated shockwaves cause new blood vessel formation to the local tissues which promotes tissue remodelling and repair
Typically, this method of treatment is utilised in conjunction with massage, stretch or strengthening exercises at home. Recommended treatments range between 6-8 sessions with 5-7days in between sessions and will be guided by one of our PhysioFit health professionals depending in your individual case.