Shockwave Therapy

Written by willem van der Meijden | September 15 2017

WP Physio | Shockwave machine

What is Shockwave Therapy?

Shockwave Theapy refers to mechanical pressure pulses that expand as a wave in the body. Shock waves are similar to sound waves, high amplitude pulses of mechanical energy. The waves are generated by an electromagnetic coil.

Recent studies have shown that shockwave therapy delivers great results in the treating of various conditions (see coditions listed  below)

How is shockwave therapy done?

A noninvasive probe is applied to the skin. An electrical charge creates an energy wave that is focused on the area of concern. The shock waves create a force on the tissues that causes inflammation and improve blood flow to encourage the body to repair and heal itself.

General effects of shockwave

  • Tissue regeneration and repair
  • The stimulation of the formation of new blood vessels (Neovascularization)
  • Pain relief
  • Relaxation of muscles ( myorelaxation.)
  • Calcific deposits reabsorption

When should I avoid this therapy?

  • People who have poor sensation (neuropathy) or hypersensitivity in the target area should not have shockwave therapy done.
  • Open sores should also be avoided.
  • Shock wave therapy is not used on patients with heart conditions or seizures.
  • It should not be used during pregnancy.
  • Shock wave is not advised for patients with cancer or bleeding tendencies.

The above mentioned conditions should be discussed with your treatment practitioner before undergoing the procedure.

What happens after the Treatment?

Patients are advised to reduce the level of physical activity for one to two days after treatment. Specific stretches may be prescribed. Shock wave therapy has shown to deliver good outcomes for tendon problems and chronic degenerative conditions.  Examples include Achilles tendinitis and plantar fasciitis.

Potential Complications

The main complications are pain and hypersensitivity at the site of treatment. These problems typically resolve with time, however it should be mentioned to the treating practitioner.

Shockwave Therapy can be used as a treatment modality for the following conditions

  • Pain in muscles, insertions, Tendons
  • Groin pain
  • Back pain
  • Plantar fascitis
  • Patellar tendinopathy – jumper ́s knee
  • Calcifications
  • Heel spur (calcar calcanei)
  • Tendinosis calcarea
  • Long tendon of biceps calcification
  • Shoulder pai
  • Plantar Fasciitis
  • Achilles Tendinopathy
  • Trochanteric Bursitis
  • Tennis Elbow
  • Stress Fractures
  • Trigger points

Shockwave therapy is used in conjunction with various other modalities to treat different conditions. Consult your nearest physiotherapy for more information.