Shockwave – What is it?
Radial shock waves are acoustic waves introduced into the body by means of a transmitter and handpiece. These waves move through the body in outward motion from the point of contact. The point of contact will be moved throughout your treatment to cover the entire pain region. Radial shockwaves are often referred to as radial pressure waves, which is the correct definition in physical terms because it best describes how the waveform moves through the body.
When introduced into the tissue, shock waves and pressure waves have effects on a cellular level that are beneficial for healing. Increased blood flow and formation of new blood vessels, create an improved environment for tissue repair. It has further been shown that application of shock waves influences the body’s pain regulating mechanisms resulting in local pain relief.
Basically this means Shockwave therapy is almost a ‘reset’ button for your injury, bringing you back to an acute phase of healing.
Who needs it?
Shockwave is most successful in the treatment of chronic (>6 weeks) soft tissue injuries such as plantar fasciopathy/fasciitis, achilles tendonopathy & chronic muscle strains and muscle trigger points. Patients with these types of injuries may have failed at other conservative therapies or plateaued in their pain reduction and/ or overall improvement. Shockwave is always used as an adjunct treatment to traditional podiatry treatments such as orthoses, strapping, load modification and footwear changes.
What is involved?
Your podiatrist will provide a chosen number of radial shockwaves each session, Shockwave is a course of treatment with the minimum being 3, extending up to 6 based on level of improvement.
Your podiatrist may also apply strapping to the area or other treatment modalities in the same session.
What to expect following your shockwave treatment.
It is not uncommon to find pain relief after just one session however this may be only short lived and further treatment is still required. Some possible side effects are; reddening, swelling, pain, heamatoma (bruising), petechia (red spots) these are rare and usually short lived and may cease after 5-10 days.
Who can't use it?
Unfortunately there are a few types of people that cannot be exposed to shockwave therapy – Currently pregnant, Disturbed sensory and nervous function, eg. Diabetes, Received a steroid injection in the area in the previous 6 weeks or malignant tumors.
If you think you may benefit from shockwave therapy book an appointment with one of our Podiatrists today!