Extracorporeal Radial Shockwave Therapy (ESWT)
Extracorporeal Radial Shockwave Therapy (ESWT) is a series of high-energy percussions delivered to an affected area. The shockwave is delivered non-invasively in a form of physical sound wave.
How does it work?
The shockwaves are generated by a projectile that is fired at speed inside a hand-held applicator. When the applicator is placed on the surface of the skin with a coupling medium such as ultrasound gel, the impulses are delivered as a shockwave that penetrates the affected area as an aspherical “radial” wave.
- Treatment produces an inflammatory response, increasing metabolic activity around the site of pain. This stimulates and accelerates the healing process
- Shockwave breaks down scar tissue and possibly calcification
- Transmission of pain is blocked
What are the common indications of ESWT?
Plantar Fasciitis – Frozen Shoulder – Plantar Fasciosis (strained arch) – Heel Spurs – Tennis Elbow – Morton’s Neuroma – Calcific Rotator Cuff Tendinitis – Hallux Rigidus – Bursitis – Achilles Tendinopathy, Tendonitis – Trigger Point Therapy – Jumpers Knee – Anterior Tibial Syndrome – Stress Fractures – Osteoarthritis – Patellar Chondropathy – Trochanteric Tendonitis
What are the benefits of ESWT?
It stimulates the body’s natural self-healing process. You may experience an immediate reduction of pain and improved ease of movement. Shockwave therapy may also eliminate your need for surgery. Side effects are rare or minor.
How many treatments will I need?
Usually 3 – 4 treatments are indicated at weekly intervals; additional treatments may be required if your condition is chronic.
Does the treatment hurt?
You may experience some discomfort, but it should be tolerable. Adjustments can be made to decrease the pressure if you find it intolerable.
Will it hurt after the treatment?
There may be no immediate pain, but some discomfort may be experienced 2-4 hours after the treatment. In some cases, it can last up to 48 hours. Very rarely, the pain can last up to 5 days.
What if ESWT doesn’t work for me?
Although the short-term effects alone are exceptional, the long-term benefits of this treatment may take up to 3-4 months. If after this time there has not been any marked improvement, you should see your doctor to explore further treatment options.
What should I do if I am in pain after the treatment?
The shockwave will trigger an inflammatory response, which is the body’s natural process of healing. For this reason, avoid taking anti-inflammatory medications or applying ice packs. The pain should subside within 24 hours. Use Tylenol if necessary, provided you have no allergy reactions with this medication.
What if it feels good after the treatment?
You are still recommended to decrease strenuous activities for 48 hours following the treatment.
What is the success rate of ESWT?
A successful treatment is considered as a patient having at least 75% reduction in pain within 3 months. Worldwide, success rates are between 80-90%.