What is Shockwave Therapy?
Shockwave therapy is a non-invasive treatment that uses acoustic waves to treat musculoskeletal pain and other conditions. The acoustic waves create a pressure pulse in the affected area, which helps to break down scar tissue, increase blood flow, and stimulate healing. This can help reduce pain and improve mobility in the affected area. Research has also stated that shockwave therapy promotes the production of pain-inhibiting substances in the body for pain reduction.
What Conditions Does It Treat?
- Plantar fasciitis
- Calcific tendonitis
- Achilles tendinopathy
- Tennis or golfer's elbow
- Trochanteric bursitis
- Shoulder impingement syndrome
- Patellar tendinopathy
- Stress fractures
- Hamstring injuries
- Piriformis Syndrome
What Can I Expect During A Shockwave Therapy Session?
- Your Physiotherapist will perform a detailed assessment for your painful condition to establish a physical diagnosis for you.
- He/she will then determine the area and dosage for application of shockwave therapy, as per indication. He/she will also set the required parameters such as frequency, pressure and number of pulses to be given on the Shockwave Machine.
- Administration of Shockwave Therapy takes a short duration, typically about 3-4 minutes. You will experience short pressure pulses on the painful area delivered with shockwave head by your physiotherapist.
- Typically, Shockwave therapy is administered twice a week for about 3-4 weeks (6-8 sessions), depending upon the severity of the pain and the condition. Your physiotherapist will design your plan of care as needed.
Are There Any Side Effects?
There are no adverse effects of Shockwave therapy. However, it is common to develop some localized muscle soreness/tenderness, skin redness immediately after the treatment which can last about 20 minutes to a few hours.
Can I Resume My Daily Activities After A Shockwave Therapy Session?
Yes, as shockwave therapy induces minimal to no discomfort after treatment, you can resume all the daily activities or recreational activities, unless specified otherwise by your physiotherapist.
Also, your physiotherapist will provide you with a home exercise program to strengthen and stretch your muscles and joints for your optimal functioning.
Does It Hurt?
Shockwave therapy can cause mild discomfort during treatment, but it is generally considered to be tolerable. The practitioner will usually adjust the intensity of the acoustic waves to ensure that the patient is comfortable throughout the procedure.
How Long Does A Shockwave Therapy Session Last?
A typical shockwave therapy session lasts around 15-20 minutes, depending on the specific condition being treated.
How Many Sessions Are Usually Needed?
The number of sessions varies depending on the condition and individual response. Generally, a series of 3 to 6 sessions, spaced about a week apart, is recommended.
What Can I Expect After A Shockwave Therapy Session?
Some patients might experience temporary soreness or mild bruising after the session. This is normal and indicates the treatment is working.
Is Shockwave Therapy Suitable For Everyone?
Shockwave therapy may not be recommended for pregnant individuals, individuals with certain medical conditions (e.g., circulation disorders), or those on blood-thinning medications. Your physiotherapist will assess your suitability.
How Long Does It Take To See Results From Shockwave Therapy?
Many patients experience improvement after a few sessions, but full results may take several weeks as your body's healing response progresses.
Can Shockwave Therapy Replace Other Treatments?
Shockwave therapy can be a standalone treatment or part of a comprehensive physiotherapy plan. Your physiotherapist will determine the best approach based on your condition.