What Is Shockwave Therapy?
Extracorporeal Shockwave therapy is a treatment which is being used to treat many muscle, joint and bone conditions. Extracorporeal simple means ‘outside of the body’ as this is a non-invasive treatment which has been shown to be extremely safe and effective.
It is commonly used to treat Achilles tendonitis, lateral epicondylitis (tennis elbow), plantar fasciitis and heel spurs, patellar tendonitis, shoulder rotator cuff pain, hamstring tendonitis, adductor tendonitis and myofascial trigger points.
Shockwave therapy can reduce healing times and pain in the above conditions. It has been shown also to be very successful in chronic conditions (longer than 6 months duration) and sometimes when other treatment options have failed.
How Does Shockwave Therapy Work?
The machine creates high pressure acoustic (sound) waves which interact with the tissues to cause the medical effects of the therapy.
Shockwave works by causing microtrauma within the targeted tissue. This in turn promotes the inflammation process which is the first stage of healing. The bodies natural healing chemicals and components rush to the area and promote growth of new blood vessels (angiogensis) and new nerve cells (neurogensis). Normal healing resumes and the tissue begins to behave normally becoming pain free and mobile.
Who can perform the treatment?
At Galway Bay Physiotherapy all of our Chartered Physiotherapists are trained on the most up to date equipment which is based in Galway Bay Medical Centre. The treatment only lasts about 10minutes itself but our appointment times at 30minutes to allow our therapists time for a thorough assessment of the patient. They may also use additional treatments such as Dry Needling Therapy to compliment the Shockwave Treatment.
Are there any side effects?
You may experience some mild swelling, redness of the skin for up to 24hours after the treatment. Aside from that there are no other common side effects from Shockwave Therapy.
Is it safe for everyone?
No. There are certain patient groups who cannot safely have the treatment so it is important that our physiotherapists know all of the relevant medical information. It is not recommended for use on pregnant women, peripheral vascular disease, tumours, or over infected sites.