How does SWT work?
Shockwave therapy can convert a chronic inflammatory condition into an acute inflammatory condition (pro-flammatory) and so the body’s own healing process is accelerated. The beneficial effects of SWT include:
- Increasing blood circulation
- Reversal of chronic inflammation
- Stimulation of new tissue growth
- Breaking down calcium deposits.
It can break down injured tissue and calcifications which are present in chronic tendon injuries that may not have responded to other treatments. The same technology has been used to break up kidney stones without surgery.
What are the advantages of SWT?
SWT is a non-invasive treatment used without medication e.g. cortisone injections. Patients experience pain relief and thus increased movement following therapy. Side effects are minimal.
How fast does SWT work?
The treatment can sometimes be uncomfortable but it is short in duration, 10-15 minute session is all that is necessary to successfully treat the area. A treatment can be modified to suit the patient’s pain tolerance. Patients return for 3-6 sessions to effectively treat the area. It is necessary to have successive treatment sessions. These are spaced sufficiently to allow the tissue respond to the treatment, and are usually one week apart.
What conditions can SWT treat?
Conditions effectively treated with SWT include:
Patellar tendonopathy /
Tennis and Golfers elbow (medial and lateral epicondylalgia)
Shoulder calcification / frozen shoulder / tendonopathy / impingement
Greater trochanteric pain syndrome/ITB
Muscle tears / tightness / strain
Poor bone healing
Are there contraindications?
SWT may not be suitable for you if you have/are:
- taking antiplatelets excluding aspirin 75mgs (e.g. clopidogrel) or anticoagulants (e.g.warfarin)
- a blood clotting disorder
- under the age of 18
- a cardiac pacemaker or other cardiac device
- an infection in the injured area
- had steroid injections in the area in previous 12 weeks