Shockwave therapy - is it right for me?

Written by Liam Goode, Physiotherapist

Shockwave therapy has undergone somewhat of a boom in recent years, and is proving to be a valuable tool in beating certain conditions. The research into it has found it to be beneficial in lots of different conditions but, in clinic, we find that it really helps with certain ones. Tendon related issues are greatly impacted and benefited by using shockwave - conditions typically labelled or well known as include ‘Tennis Elbow’, ‘Runners or Jumpers Knee’ and ‘Achilles Tendonitis’ to name a few.

Shockwave treatment is done via a machine that (when dialled in) uses small and rapid impacts to send vibrations and ‘shockwaves’ through the desired tissue. This can be uncomfortable, but its worth remembering that the discomfort is short-lived and is for a purpose. When a tendon (for example) has been in pain for a long time, the healing mechanism designed to get it better may have failed. The shockwave therapy causes micro injury to the tissue to try and start a healing response. In the right scenario, this is a really good thing as it gives you another shot at getting better. The biggest mistake made with shockwave as a treatment, is the assumption that this alone will get you better. This is almost never the case. When completed as part of a comprehensive physiotherapy program, shockwave will have a great chance of healing many conditions. The correct and targeted exercise program will be a foundation for this to operate from. 

We recommend having an initial assessment with one of the team, and together, we can decipher if shockwave will add to your rehab programme. 

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