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Shockwave Therapy

What is Shockwave Therapy?

Shockwave Therapy Treatment

Shockwave Therapy (SWT) is a modality used as treatment for a variety of musculoskeletal conditions – typically chronic (more than 6 weeks), such as:

  • Plantar Fasciitis
  • Achilles Tendinopathy
  • Lateral Epicondylitis (Tennis Elbow)
  • Calcific Tendonitis
  • Morton’s Neuroma

Shockwave Therapy can facilitate the body’s ability to regenerate new tissue and can decrease your pan by stimulating your nerves at the site of the injury. It facilitates tissue healing by increasing circulation around injured soft tissues and stimulating cells that generate new bone and connective tissue – triggering and accelerating the body’s natural healing response. It also breaks down calcified deposits such as in the case of Calcific Tendonitis and can reduce pain by overstimulating the nerve endings in the affected area

How does Shockwave Therapy work?

Shockwave Therapy transforms electricity into shockwaves that are transmitted into the tissue with a small device similar to an ultrasound applicator. This can quickly break down scar tissue and bring blood to the area to speed up healing.

Benefits of Shockwave Therapy

Shockwave Therapy is an FDA approved, non-surgical treatment that is non-invasive and does not require lengthy recovery periods. It provides an alternative for chronic conditions that aren’t resolved with traditional therapy, such as Plantar Fasciitis or Tennis Elbow and can be combined with physiotherapy to help return athletes or workers back to their sport or activity faster.

On rare occasions, side effects may cause slight discomfort and may include mild bruising or swelling as the injury heals. Typical shockwave treatment is 5-6 weeks and is recommended once a week.

Physiotherapy in conjunction with Shockwave Therapy could include activity modifications, specific exercises and assessing contributing issues such as tightness and weakness in muscle groups. Additional modalities may also be used to speed healing such as ultrasound, interferential therapy or heat.

If you are suffering from chronic heel, elbow pain or tendonitis , or you are curious about Shockwave Therapy, then please consult a Physiotherapist to see if shockwave treatment is right for you. Shockwave Therapy is presently available at our Applewood PhysioNow location.

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COMMON QUESTIONS ABOUT SHOCKWAVE THERAPY

How long should you rest after shockwave therapy?
There are few limitations after shockwave therapy treatment, you are free to return to your normal activities. However, it is advised to avoid strenuous exercise immediately after receiving shockwave therapy. The duration will depend on your symptoms but is usually no longer than a day or two, depending on your condition and response to the treatment.
Can shock wave therapy cause damage?
Shockwave therapy is considered safe and non-invasive as a treatment for certain musculoskeletal conditions. However, it carries some risks and side effects such as temporary soreness, pain, swelling, redness, and bruising in the treatment area. These side effects should only last for a couple days post treatment. Additionally, shockwave therapy is not suitable for everyone such as women that are pregnant, certain medical conditions like blood clotting disorders, and with certain medications. Make sure you consult with your healthcare provider thoroughly first before undergoing shockwave therapy.
What is the success rate of shockwave therapy?
The success of shockwave therapy will be very variable depending on the specific condition it is being used for, the severity and chronicity of the condition, and also characteristics of the individual themselves. For the most common conditions, plantar fasciitis, tennis elbow (lateral epicondylitis), and patellar tendinopathy, the success rate has ranged from 65 to 91% in some studies with minimal complications.
Are shockwave therapy results permanent?
The duration of the results from shockwave are variable and depend on the specific condition and the severity, the patient's overall health and their adherence to post-treatment advice. Some patients will receive a long-lasting or permanent benefit, while others may have recurrences and benefit from periodic maintenance or additional treatments.
Can shockwave therapy damage nerves?
In very rare cases, shockwave therapy can create nerve damage but the risk is generally quite low. This is usually a result of a failure to follow proper safety guidelines if the shockwave is not properly targeted. As a result, this can be avoided when performed by trained and experienced healthcare professionals, and with a thorough screening to ensure that you are an appropriate candidate for shockwave therapy.
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