Shockwave therapy is a non-invasive treatment in which shockwaves (intense, short energy sound wave pulsations) are used to treat chronic, painful conditions of the musculoskeletal system. Shockwave treatment is applied directly through a person’s skin via a gel medium.
Shockwave Therapy (SWT) can be used to treat a wide variety of musculoskeletal conditions, in particular, those involving areas muscles, ligaments, capsule, spurs, and bones.
Following conditions can be easily treated by shockwave therapy.
- Plantar Fasciitis, heel spurs & Achilles tendonitis
- Morton’s Neuroma, metatarsalgia
- Rotator cuff tendonitis & calcification, frozen shoulder
- Patellar tendonitis, jumper’s knee & shin pain
- Tennis or golfer’s elbow
- Trochanteric bursitis (Hip)
- Trigger points in muscles
- Stress fractures/Shin Splints, non union’s (delayed bone healing).
Who Can benefit from shockwave therapy?
An initial assessment can determine whether shockwave treatment is appropriate. If you suffer with any of the conditions above, shockwave therapy may be beneficial.
Advantages of Shockwave therapy
Shockwave therapy is widely used by physiotherapist, chiropractors, orthopedic surgeons, urologists and podiatrists to successfully treat musculoskeletal disorders. Compared to other treatment methods, shockwave therapy:
- Quickly reduces pain
- No medication is needed
- Avoids surgery and anaesthesia
- No side effects
- Has no associated side effects or risk of allergies
- Accelerates healing
- Effectively treats chronic conditions
- Immediate reduction of pain and improved movement in most
How does Shockwave Therapy work?
Shockwave therapy transmits sound waves with high energy peaks through the skin’s surface to the underlaying tissue. The overall medical effects of shockwave therapy include accelerated tissue repair and cell growth, pain relief and mobility restoration. It accelerates the healing process by activating the body’s self-healing powers, particularly in cases where the body has been unable to do so on its own. Healing occurs over several treatments. Shockwave therapy initiates an inflammatory response and promotes metabolism leading to vascularization of the area with an increase in oxygen supply. This stimulates and accelerates the healing process and is especially useful for those suffering from chronic heel, shoulder, knee, achilles, and elbow pain. Your physiotherapist will apply shockwaves through a specially designed hand piece that produces strong energy pulses for short periods of time. The shockwave energy pulses are applied directly to the affected tissue areas in a controlled procedure.
How Long Does Treatment Last?
Treatment sessions are 45 minutes in length and can be mildly uncomfortable. You may need a minimum of 2-3 sessions before starting to notice the treatment’s effects.
Does it hurt?
Shockwave therapy can be uncomfortable. Different patients have different tolerances, but it is usually well-tolerated. Immediately after your appointment, you will most likely be pain-free. However, there may be a throbbing pain 24-48 hours after your visit.
Shockwave Therapy Aftercare Instructions
- Decrease physical activity for 48 hours
- Refrain from using ice or anti-inflammatory medication (such as ibuprofen or naproxen) – we want to stimulate an inflammatory response. Tylenol is acceptable.
Is Shockwave Therapy Covered by my Medical Plan?
We encourage patients to check with their extended health care provider to determine whether their visit will be covered. For shockwave therapy, you will be issued a receipt for the practitioner completing the therapy. If you have benefits for that extended health care provider, your visit should be covered.
ACT Physiotherapy and Health Services also offers shockwave therapy as part of a broader treatment plan. Ask your healthcare practitioner for more information on shockwave therapy and whether it’s right for you.
We'd Love to Hear from You!
If you have any questions about shockwave therapy, or would like to book an appointment, call us at 905-636-6665 or