Shockwave therapy is a safe, non-invasive procedure for patients suffering from many tendon, muscle and joint disorders. It applies a series of acoustic wave pulsations directly to the site of injury/ dysfunction through the client’s skin via a gel medium, and does not require the use of medication or analgesics. The shockwave therapy stimulates the body’s natural self-healing process and is therefore particularly effective when used to treat chronic conditions, conditions that continue to re-occur or conditions that have not been successfully managed through traditional treatment methods.
How does Shockwave Therapy work?
Shockwave Therapy, evolved from the technology of Lithotripsy (used to disintegrate kidney stones). It involves a series of intense, but very short physical energy waves traveling faster than the speed of sound (non-electric). This energy wave causes break down of targeted dysfunctional tissue and increases blood flow. The body then responds by increasing local metabolism and production of new healthy tissue.
Certain musculoskeletal and orthopedic conditions have a hard time healing due to the development of unhealthy, disorganized tissue in the area of injury. Over time, this dysfunctional tissue limits the body’s ability to repair and heal itself. Research has shown Shockwave Therapy to be highly effective in treating musculoskeletal and orthopedic conditions by stimulating the body’s own natural healing response.
Is Shockwave Therapy for me?
Shockwave therapy has been scientifically proven to help with:
The success rate has ranged from 65% to 91% improvement, with low and negligible complications (Journal of Orthopaedic Surgery and Research, 2012). Shockwave therapy is a non-surgical option with results that, in some cases, can be as effective as surgery and should be considered when other treatment options have failed or the condition continues to return.
How long does each treatment last?
Initially you will have a thorough assessment by one of our Physical Therapists to see if shockwave therapy is an appropriate part of your treatment plan.
The actual treatment time spent receiving the shockwave therapy is typically less than five minutes. Treatment sessions will also include education and an appropriate post treatment plan.
How many treatments will I need?
The research backed protocols outline that most conditions will require 3-5 sessions of shockwave therapy. An additional 2-5 sessions may be required if the condition is very chronic.
Does the treatment itself, hurt?
Treatment can be uncomfortable, but it is usually well tolerated. It is an intense 5 minutes that most people are able to justify and get through. Many clients experience a decrease or complete absence of pain immediately after treatment. Bruising, swelling, and on rare occasions, skin breakdown may occur.
Will it hurt after the treatment?
There may be some soreness or throbbing 1-2 hours after the treatment session due to an inflammatory response of the body to the shockwave pulses. This is NORMAL and is your body’s way of healing itself and regenerating the targeted tissue. This discomfort usually subsides after 1-2 days.
What if it feels good following the treatment?
Even if it feels good, we recommend decreased activity for 48 hrs following the treatment.
Precautions/Contra-indications to Radial Shockwave
Before Radial Shockwave Therapy begins you will have an extensive assessment with one of our Physical Therapists. It is most important that you discuss your relevant medical and injury history with your therapist. You may not qualify for Radial Shockwave, or an individually determined level of caution may have to be practiced, if you have any of the following:
• Cortisone injection within the last 6 weeks • Bleeding disorder (eg. Von Willebrand disease, haemophilia, etc.) • Blood thinning medications/ anticoagulant therapy (eg. Heparin, Warfarin, Coumadin) • Heart or circulatory problems (eg. Pacemaker) • Cancer/ local malignancy • Diabetes • Pregnancy • Blood or nerve supplies too close to affected area • Local tingling or paraesthesiae • Open wound over the site to be treated • Poorly localized or non palpable area of pain • Inflammation or Infection at the site of treatment (signs include redness, swelling, fever, etc) • Cognitive difficulties(unable to follow directions or follow directions; Alzheimer’s disease, senile demential, etc)