Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy

How does Shockwave Therapy promote healing?

The high-energy acoustic pulses produced by our Extracorporeal Shockwave unit improves the metabolism in the pain region, increases blood circulation and this effectively stimulates the body’s intrinsic repair mechanisms.

Damaged tissue gradually regenerates and eventually heals. In other words, Shockwave Therapy is all about activating the body’s self-healing abilities.

What does Shockwave Therapy Treat?

Shockwave therapy can treat the following conditions:

  • Feet – heel spurs, plantar fasciitis, achilles tendonitis
  • Elbow – tennis and golfers elbow
  • Shoulder – calcific tendinosis of rotator cuff muscles
  • Knee – patellar tendonitis
  • Hip – bursitis
  • Lower Leg – shin splints
  • Upper Leg – Iliotibial band friction syndrome
  • Back Pain – lumbar and cervical spine regions and chronic muscular pain

Shockwave Facts and Features

Shock waves are audible high-energy sound waves. They occur in the atmosphere, for example during lighting strikes, or when aeroplanes break the sound barrier. In the medical world, shock waves have been employed since around 1980 to disintegrate kidney stones.

In modern pain therapy, shock wave energy is conducted from the place of its generation – the shock wave generator – to the painful body regions, where it unfolds its healing capabilities.

What can I expect in a Shockwave treatment session?

Each treatment session lasts approximately 5 – 10 minutes where the physiotherapist will apply the shockwave to the target area. This involves positioning the shockwave therapy hand piece onto the injured area to allow the unit to gently and extensively transmit shock waves to that region. The feedback you provide helps the physiotherapist fine tune the position of the applicator and the intensity of the treatment.

Does Shockwave therapy really work?

Provided you are a candidate for this type of treatment, clinical studies suggest there is an 80% – 85% chance this technology will improve your condition. Scientific research supports the use of shockwave therapy in the treatment of tendinopathy, plantar fasciitis and other conditions.

One of the most important factors for success is being able to identify and select which patients and conditions are most likely to benefit from this technology. Given our experience, we believe we can provide you with an accurate assessment of your candidacy for Shockwave Therapy and the likelihood you will see an improvement in your condition.

How many treatments do I need to improve my condition?

Generally, patients require 5 to 6 separate treatment sessions approximately 1 week apart to complete a course of treatment. If a patient is not finding relief after 3 visits they may not respond to this type of therapy. For chronic conditions, patients may require more than 6 sessions.

Does Shockwave Therapy hurt?

Previous generations of Shockwave Therapy machines caused considerable pain that a local anesthetic was required. The shockwave technology Lane Cove Physio utilizes does not generally cause any significant discomfort and there is NO local anesthetic required. Many patients describe their treatment as “mild sensation” to “moderately uncomfortable” but few report any significant or lasting pain.

Literature evidence

  • Rompe et al (2008) Eccentric loading compared with shock wave treatment for chronic insertional achilles tendinopathy. J Bone Joint Surg Am, 90:52-61.
  • Han et al (2009)  Effect of extracorporeal shock wave therapy on cultured tenocytes, foot and ankle
  • International. 30:93-98.
  • Furia et al (2007)  Extracorporeal shock wave therapy in the treatment of chronic plantar fasciitis and Achilles tendinopathy. Current Opin Orthop, 18:101-111.