What is shockwave?
Extracorporeal shock wave therapy (ESWT)
Shockwave is a highly effective non-surgical treatment that delivers impulses of sound waves into damaged tissue. The shockwaves work by agitating the tissue, which increases blood flow to the area, accelerating the body’s healing process. The treatment also has an analgesic (pain relieving) effect.
Shockwave therapy is used primarily in the treatment of heel pain and tendon injuries.
At Zest we use the best machine on the market the ‘Swiss Dolorclast’. The Swiss Dolorcast is the same type that is used in the NICE research. The machine sends waves of pressure into the tissue encouraging it to heal.
What conditions does it treat?
The latest research in shockwave reveals it to be as effective for plantar fasciitis as a corticosteroid injection and is very helpful for achilles tendonitis. Its use is supported by the National Institute of Clinical Health and Excellence (NICE).
- plantar fasciitis (heel pain)
- achilles tendinopathy
- other tendon injuries.
Why does it work?
The machine sends shockwaves from a compressor into a special probe. The probe sends the waves into the damaged area. The waves encourage the damaged tissue to heal at a quicker rate than is normally would.
We expect gradual healing to take place over days, weeks or months. Most will have noticeable to significant improvement by the end of the treatment course.
Does it hurt?
Shockwave is a non-invasive treatment so no skin is broken or damaged. It can be a bit tender during the treatment but this eases in a few seconds.
You can return to normal activity immediately as there is no damage to the area,. We may encourage you to rest and have a cup of tea after.
How many sessions will I need?
We recommend 3 shockwave sessions, a week apart. This gives you the best chance for resolution of pain. Occasionally further sessions are required, although not common we can accommodate this. We recommend the addition of other treatment modalities such exercise prescription and manual therapy.
How will I know it is better?
Your pain should be gone or much less. But we will have a look with an Ultrasound scanner to see how well the damage tissue is healing.