What is shock wave therapy?
Shock wave therapy is a treatment technique where pressure waves are directed towards a painful point in a muscle, tendon or bone. There are many different types of shock waves but the one we use at Miami and Lakelands Physiotherapy is called Extracorporeal shock wave therapy (ESWT).
How does it work?
The machine is pressed against the painful area and a wave is created. This is transmitted through the gel and into the tissue as a high pressure wave. This mechanical pressure triggers changes within your body’s cells which causes the tissue to heal and regenerate.
After the wave passes it leaves an area of negative pressure. This creates a gas bubble which creates further waves once it collapses, amplifying the effect.
The second effect of ESWT is pain relief. The pressure waves selectively target the sensitised nerves that are producing your pain and overstimulate them, blocking the pain signals. ESWT also activates your body’s pain inhibition systems to further reduce your pain.
While this pain relief effect isn’t always immediate, research shows that after 4-6 weeks of therapy recipients reported a significant reduction in pain.
So what is shock wave therapy useful for?
Typically ESWT has been used to treat tendinopathies but there is growing research that it provides significant benefits for several other musculoskeletal conditions including acute ligament injuries.
Multiple studies have shown improved bone healing in people with non-healing fractures, bone marrow oedema, avascular necrosis and even chronic stress fractures.
There is also research showing a significant reduction in pain when using ESWT to treat arthritis. And in our clinics we are seeing similar results.
So if you have bone, muscle or tendon pain that isn’t getting better, shock wave therapy is worth considering.
Miami Physio : 9534 4111
Lakelands Physio: 9542 9999